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StrahiQ tod Prefton, 
Printers- Screety London. 












In the following work I have introduced 
Mr. Hume's epiftolary correfpondence into 
the narrative, inftead of relegating it to the 
appendix. The letters of a man, eminent for 
his learning and talents, form an interefling 
part of his biography ; yet, when a colledion 
of them is given without any connecting 
detail, every one mud feel, that their value is 
confiderably diminifhed : few indeed have 
perfeverance to perufe them. By the plan I 
have adopted, the volume dill remains the 
fame in point of fize; but the reader be- 
comes progreflively acquainted with the lite- 
rary connexions of Mr. Hume, the habits of 
him and his friends, and numberlefs traits in 
their characters, which could not be eafily or 
advantageoufly compreffed into hiftory. 



In the biographical fketch, drawn up by 
Mr. Hume previous to his death, and inti- 
tled My own Life, he has pafTed over un- 
noticed two very important incidents. The 
firft of thefe is the complaint prefented to the 
General Affembly of the Church of Scotland, 
ag^unfl the metaphyfical writings of our au- 
thor and Lord Kames ; an occurrence which 
derives additional importance from a late dif- 
cuflion of a like nature before that venerable 
body. The other is the difpute between him 
and Roufleau, which it was the more necef- 
iary to relate at confiderable length, as an 
opinion, unfavourable to Mr. Hume, prevailed 
very generally, and even ftill prevails, among 
the literati in foreign countries. A fentiment 
of delicacy feems to have reftrained him 
from alluding to thefe tranfadions, but fuch 
a motive cannot influence a ilranger ; and a 
fimilar omiffion in a Life of Mr. Hume, 
written by another perfon, would certainly 

render the work very imperfeft. 


Belhaven Barracks, Danbar, 
March i^ 1807. 


Account of the Life and Writings of David 
HuM£ • • • • page I 


No. I. EJfays not inferted in bis Mifcellaneous Works. 


Of Impudence and Modefty 



Of Love and Marriage 



Of the Study of Hiftory 



Of Avarice . • . , 



Of Eflay Writing 



Of Moral Prejudices 



Of the Middle Station of Life 



A Cbaraaer of Sir Robert Walpole 


IL Letter from Mr. Hume to the Author of the 
Critical Review^ refpe3ing Mr. Wilkie^s 
Epigoniad , • • •419 

III. Expofe Succin6l de la Contejiation^ qui s^eji 
eleve entre M. Hume et M. Rousseau ; 
avec Ics Pieces Jujlificatives • 439 








1^1 iMi mmim 

David HUME, the fccond fon of Jofeph 
Hume, Efq. was bom at Edinburgh on the a6th 
of April, O. S. 171 1. His anceftors, for fevera! 
generations, had been proprietors of a fmall 
eft ate called Ninewells, lying on the river Whit- 
water, about five miles to the eaft of Dunfe^ in 
the county of Berwick ; and this eftate is ftill en- 
joyed by their pofterity. At a (hort diftance from 
Ninewells, ftands the manfion-houfe of Karnes^ 
which belonged to the late Henry Home, who, 
under the title of Lord Karnes, officially affumed 
by him as a lord of feflion, or judge of the 
fupreme court of juftice in Scotland, is fo well 
known in the republic of letters, as a pbUofopher, 

B a lawyer. 


a lawyer, and a man of tafte. His lordfhip vrz$ 
the contemporary and intimate friend of our 

The family name of Hume's mother was Fal- 
coner. She was the daughter of Sir David Fal- 
coner, who was appointed a lord of feflion, by 
the title of Lord Newton, on the nth of June 
1676, and fix years afterwards raifed to the chair 
of prefident of that court. Sir David died in 1685, 
and was fucceeded in his office by Sir George 
Lockhart of Carnwath. The title of Lord Hal- 
kerfton devolved 'by fucceffion on his eldeft fon ; 
and it may alfo be mentioned, that Mr. Hume's 
father claimed his defcent from the noble family 
of Home * : a circumftance which derives its im- 
portance folely from the family pride, or, more 
properly fpeaking, from the vanity of our author, 
who, during the whole courfe of his life, valued 
himfelf not a little on this double connedion with 

It is a common praSice with biographers to 
piifh their refearches, with much avidity and per- 
feverance, into the earlier periods of the lives of 
thofe whofe tranfaftions they relate. This induftry 
may, perhaps, be occafionally rewarded, by the 
difcovery of fome fortuitous incident worthy of 

* The family of NincwclU fecmi from our author^s laft will 
and teftament, to have fpelt the name Borne indead of Hume : 
but as David was remarkably pertinacious in writing bis name 
.Hums, his relations have fince followed his example. 



being commemorated ; but it is beneath the dig- 
nity of maturer age to record the frivolities of 
childhood. The juvenile years of Hume were not 
marked by any thing which can attraft our 
notice. His father difed while our hiftorian was 
an infant, and left the care of him, his eldet* 
brother Jofeph, and fifter Catharine, to their mo- 
ther, who, although ftill in the bloom of life, de- 
voted herfelf to the education of her children with 
a laudable afTiduity* 

Under this maternal fiiperintendence, aided by 
the inftruftion which a country fchool could afford, 
Hume fpent his fir ft years. If he had, on attain- 
ing manhood, cultivated poetry with fuccefs, in- 
ftead of attaching himfelf to the feverer ftudies of 
the philofophical hiftorian, a Credulous biographer^ 
yielding to the furmifes of fancy, would have 
traced a final caufe to the fequcftered fcene of our 
author's youthful days ; for the pleafures of Ar- 
cadia were not unknown to the country fpr- 
rounding Ninewells, notwithftanding the fterility 
to which it had been condemned according to 
the fate of thofe trafts of land which border 
hoftile ftates. The valley and the mountain's fide 
ft ill refounded with the notes of the fhepherd's 
pipe: every ftreamlet was immortalized in our 
national fongs ; and every height and every heath 
had been the fcene of battle between the armies 
of the two rival kingdoms, or of the more fan* 
guinary exploits of the lawlefs marauders. 

B 2 After 


After the preparatory rudiments of , a fchool 
education, Hume was r^mev^d to the college of 
Edinburgh; but our gleanings refpe£ting his ear* 
lier years are particularly fcanty *. From the early 
appearance of his inclination to letters, his friends 
were induced to form an opinion, that the law 
would be an eligible profeffion for him. We are 
uncertain whether he ferved an apprenticeihip with 
an attorney, or confined himfelf to the profecution 
of his ftudies at the law clafle$ in the univeifity ; 
but, indefatigable as his induftry was, even to the 
very clofe of his life, in all matters conneded with 
literature, his diflike to the law as a vocation, or 
civil employment, daily increafed. He himfelf tella 
us, that he felt an infuperable averfion from every 
thing, except the purfuits of philofophy and gene- 
ral learning ; and while, fays he, ^^ my friends 
nuided I was poring upon Voet and Vinnius, 
Cicero and Virgil were the authors which (whom) 
I was fecretly devouring f .*' 

The law is, perhaps, the only profeflion which 
affords to thofe who clofely apply to it a kind of 

* In the hope of being enabled to fill up any chafm in this 
narrative, I applied to a near relation of Mr. Humej and was 
toldy that if the work was to advance his fame, and a copy of 
|be manufcript fumifhcd to the family, the information wanted 
would, perhaps^ be fupplied. With fuch conditions I refufed 
compliance, chufing rather to remain iatisfied with the little 
I had otherwife obtained^ than to fetter my fentiroents, and 
fubjedt myfelf to fo laborious i| taflc, in return for what was 
probably of little importance. 

\ See My Owh Ltfe^ prefixed to the later editions of the 
Hiftory of England. 



certainty of acquiring wealth. Yet it may be 
eafily conceived, why a young mind, uninfluenced 
by pecuniary confiderations, fliould ardemly fcek 
to cfcape from the tirefome drudgery of perufing 
fpecial cafes and precedents, to purfuits of a lefe 
difagreeable nature. It will not, however, be lb 
readily granted, that the Juftinian code, the fource 
of all that is valuable in the ancient, polity of 
European nations, fhould be contemned, in behalf 
of any poetry which ever emanated from Rome. 
Among men of letters a fafhion has long prevailed 
of decrying the writings of civiHans,^ the ufual 


magnitude of whofe works is certainly not cal- 
culated to render them inviting. This fcorn they 
inconfiderately endeavour to extend fO the Cor^ 
fus Juris iifelf, the influence of which in pro* 
moting the advancement of civilization does not 
feem to have been fairly appreciated. To tht 
pages of that immortal coUedicxi, mankind were 
chiefly indebted for thofe delicate and logical 
dift:inftions of right and wrong, and thofe inva- 
luable maxims of diftributive juftice, which ame- 
liorated the condition of the inferior rknks in 
fociety, and oppofed a barrier to the baneful eSt(Xi 
of feudal inftitutions, during the barbarifm and 
violence of the middle ages. 

It is probable, that the mere circumftance of 
direfting his attention, although in a fuperftcial 
degree, to the Roman code and the municipal laws 
of his own country, gave a flight bias to his ftudies, 
whtcht being feco^ed by favourable events, fug- 

B 3 gelled. 


gefted, at a future period, the projeft of compiling 
his Hiftory : a talk which he undertook, not froni 
a wifli to detail battles, and exhibit a tedious fuc- 
ccffion of political broils, but for the more digni- 
fied purpofe of tracing the progrefs of legiflation 
and civility. 


As Hume was a younger brother, his patri- 
mony, according to the cuftom of his country, was 
very flender; and this, combined with his difin- 
clination to the bufinefs of a lawyer, and the repre- 
fentations of his friends, induced him to repair to 
Briflol in 1734, with a defign to engage in the 
commercial line. He carried with him letters of 
recommendation to feveral eminent merchants of 
that city ; but from his confirmed love of litera- 
ture, or fome other caufe now unknown, he found 
himfelf, in a few months, totally unequal to the 
buftle incident to his new fituation. He therefore 
abandoned it, and went to France. 

His motive for this journey, as he himfelf in- 
forms us, was to profecute his ftudies in a rural 
. retreat; but that was an objed which he might 
have attained more readily and completely by con- 
tinuing in his own country. It is believed, that he 
did not chufe to return to Ninewells, as his rela- 
tions muft, by this time, have regarded him as 
young man, whofe habits of indolence were repul- 
five to all their exertions in his behalf. The cheap- 
nefs of living in France fuited the fmallnefs of the 
fortune he inherited ; and this feems to have been, 



if not the inducement, at leaft the excufc for his 
retiring into that country. Hume was, at an early 
period, fenfible of the inadequacy of his income 
to fupport the eafy enjoyments of a literary life; 
and he, at the fame time, formed a refolution to 
remedy this misfortune, as far as he was able. 
After mentioning his journey to France, he adds, 
in the biographical (ketch formerly alluded to, — 
'' I there laid that plan of life, which I have fteadily 
and fuccefsfully purfued. I refolved to make a 
very rigid frugality fupply my deficiency of for- 
tune, to maintain unimpaired my independency, 
and to regard eveiy objed as contemptible, ex- 
cept the improvement of my talents in literature." 


On his arrival in France, he eftabliflied^his re^ 
fidence at Rheims, but foon afterwards removed to 
La Fleche in Anjou. During his abode there, he 
completed his Treatife on Human Nature, the plan 
of which he had formed while at the Univerfity of 
Edinburgh ; and after fpending three years in thefc 
agreeable labours, and acquiring an intimate know- 
ledge of the French language, he returned to Lon-. 
don in 1737. In the end of the following year he 
printed and publiflied, in oftavo, the two firft vo. 
lumes of his work under the title of A Treatise 
OF (on) Human Nature : being an Attempt to in^ 
traduce the experimental Method of Reafoning i?2td 
Moral Subjeds *. 


♦ This work bears the year 1739 in the imprint. It may- 
be neccffary to apprifc the reader, that bookfellers generally fet 

B 4. down 


The firft Tohime of this performance treats of 
the Underftanding, and the fecond of the Paffions^ 
From a d ifl iden cg in his own abilities, or irom a 
vriih to hear the opinion of the public before he 
acknowledged himfelf to be the author of the work» 
it was publifhed without his name. The third 
Tohime, which comprifes the fubje£fc of Morals^ did 
not appear until the year 1 740. It was fold by a 
lifierent bookfeller ; a circumftance owing proba- 
bly to the diicouraging reception of the two firfl. 
Annexed to ih^ laft volume is An Appendix, 
wherein feme pajfages of the firegwig volumes are 
Ulttjlrated and explsuned. 

Mr. Hume, it has been dated, formed the plan 
of his Treatife, while he was at college ; and al- 
though, from the very imperfect manner in which 
it was executed, a fevere critic might be inclined 
to condemn the prefumption of a ftripling in thus 
venturing to enter the lifts with a formidable body 
of metaphyficians, whofe elaborate works were the 
matured produ£Hons of advanced life, it mud be 
confeiled, that the boldnefs of the undertaking was 
worthy of the future reputation of the author. 
That a lad of only twenty-feven years of age Ihould 
iail in accomplifiiing a tafk, which had baffled the 
labours of fo many philofophers, eminent for their 
erudition and fagacity, cannot excite furprife. It 

down the enfuing year in thf title-pages of all books ready for 
fale in or after the month of November. Hence a work adtu- 
ally printed during that month in the year j 738, will bear^ in 
the imprint, the date of 17^5. 


OF DAVID HUME, t%q^ 9 

would indeed have been a rare inftance of eaiif 
precocity, if he had fucceeded in a branch of ku 
ence in which even the primary rules of iove^ 
gation have not yet been iatisfii£tority fettled^ 


On the fate of thi$ performance oar autftor h 
extremely candid. " Ke?er literary attempt/^ fays 
he, " was more unfortunate than isy Tmatffe oa 
Human Nature. It fell dead-born (ftill-bom) 
from the prefs, without reaching fach diftinfiion, 
as even to excite a murmui; among the nalots.'' 

In reviewing this firH: efiay of Mr. Hnme'k 
talents, and inquiring whether the negled it expsb 
rienced was warrantable on the part of thofe icterati 
who intereft themfelv^s in meraphyfical diicufficins^ 
it is neceflfary to premife, that he afterwards mebed 
down his 1 Veatife into two other trads, which he 
fuccefTively pubUihed. To a new editicm of thefe 
he prefixed an advertifement, in which, after allui& 
ing to the early period of life when he wrote and 
publifhed his Treatife on Human Nature, he ini* 
forms us, that, not finding his work fuccefsfd, be 
was fenfible of his error in going too foon to pref5r» 
Under this imprelTion he thought proper to new* 
model the whole, and in doing fo to correft fomt 
negligences into which he had fallen in his former 
reafoning, and particularly the inaccuracies in his 
language. He complains, that feveral writers, wbti 
had honoured his philofophical tenets with aitfwers^ 
had dire£kd all their efforts againfl his juvenile 
and anonymous produdion^ and affe&ed to tri- 



umph in their imaginary advantages. This con« 
du6t he condemns as inconfiftent with candour 
and £air-dealing9 and as a ftriking inftance of the 
polemical artifices, which a bigoted zeal thinks itfelf 
warranted to employ. He concludes with defiring, 
that his two lad irz&s only (hali hereafter be re- 
garded as containing his philofophical fentiments 
and principles. 

Thefe exprefCons are obvioufly dictated by 
peeviflmefs; for as ten years elapfed between the 
publication of his unfortunate Treatife on Human 
Nature^ and the Enquiry concerning ibe Human Un- 
der/ianding ; and as the Enquiry concerning Morals 
did not appear until three years afterwards, how 
was it pollible for writers, who animadverted on his 
dodtrines, to notice, during the intervening period, 
any other than thofe in the Treatife, which was 
the only performance in exiftence ? — ^And did not 
Mr. Hume himfelf, by re<afting that work, and 
fo amply curtailing it, virtually acknowledge that 
the metaphyfical opinions it contained were unten- 
able ? In his Enquiries, he did not even allude 
to any former work by him on the fubjeft : he did 
not intimate an adherence to, or retradion of for- 
mer fentiments ; but left every one, acquainted 
with his firft performance, to conclude, that the 
two laft produftions were merely fupplementary to 
it. The reprehenfion, therefore, which he bellowed 
on his opponents, was unjuft ; and the vaguenefs 
of his language does not authorife us to fuppofe, 
that his genfure was intended to apply to authors 

8 whofe 


v^hofe writings were pofterior to the appearance of 
his two laft mentioned trafts, but who difregarded 
the amendments they contained^ and recurred. to 
the firft incorrect and defeftive treatife. In fine, 
until Mr. Hume announced the wifli expreiled ii| 
the concluding fentence of the advenifement, blame 
was not imputable to a controverfralift, who was 
left at liberty to refer to any of our author's works 
indifcriminately, for opinions which he had iio( 
publickly contradiSed. 

It mufl alfo be confefled, that fomething like 
uncandid obftinacy appears in the language of this 
adveriifement by Mr, Hume. The faults in his 
treatife, as will afterwards be (hewn, were numer6us 
and grofs ; and his fubfequent correftions of them 
were important, or rather confided in a prudent 
and very general abandonment or omiflion of his 
prior opinions. Yet, inftead of applying to thefc 
the term errors^ lie employs the foftened expref- 
fion of fame negligences ; and thus betrays a ftub^. 
born refufal to acknowledge the very miftakes 
which he has endeavoured to reftify. 

Not to interrupt the narrative of events by a 
prolonged criticifm on Mr. Hume's philofophical 
doftrines, our remarks on them are poftponed to 
the latter part of this work ; and in thefe it will be 
feduloufly avoided to reprefent any tenets in the 
Treatife as his final and approved fentiments, unlefg 
they have been retained by him in his two fub«# 
fequent publications. And here we will be par, 



do^ed for obferving, that 9 diflinguifbed philoTopher 
and biographer has quoted liberally from Mr. 
Hume's Treatife on Human Nature, without put- 
ting the reader on his guard as to our author's 
general derelidion of the doftrines maintained in 
that work ; but this is to be afcribed to inadvert- 
ency, and not to the remotefk view of injuring Mr. 
Hume, for whom the erudite metapfayfician alluded 
to uniformly ibews a more ardent efteem, than we 
can coincide with him in expreffing. 

In eftimating the qualifications neceffary for an 
undertaking Uke that of Mr. Hume, a fuccin£): 
enumeration of his more eminent predeceflbrs, 
vhofe hbours have illuftrated this important branch 
of general fcience, will not, it is hoped, be reckoned 
cdther a ttrefome or an unprofitable digreflion. 

At an early period in the hiftory of mankind, 
the philofophy of the human mind began to engage 
lAe aftcaition of the learned, or, to fpeak in a 
ftyte more appropriate to a rude age, the attention 
of thofe men who were more intelligent than their 
contemporaries. Among the various branches of 
' the fectarian philofophy of the Greeks, the Socratic 
was the mod eminent ; and from it originated the 
Academic and Peripatetic feds. Plato and Ariftotle, 
rfui founders of thefe two fchools, are the only 
ancient authors, whofc writings on the abftrufe 
fobjeft of metaphyfics have reached modern times ; 
and from the puerile fancies with which they are 
replete, aivd the unintelligible language in which 


OF BAVlp HVMH9 fi8(2* I J 

they are conveyed, it would not have been an 
eflential lofs to pofterity, if the metaphyfical works 
of thefe philofophers had been permitted to fink 
into oblivion. From Greece, phtlbfopby migrated to 
Rome ; for creduUty itfelf muft now ceafe to trace 
the continuation of the Italic fchool from the days 
of Pythagoras, to the flourifliing qpoch of the 

After the de(lru£tion of the weftem emigre, 
Europe feemed to revert to that date of rudenefs 
and ignorance from which the labours of fo maay 
great men had contributed to raife it. The ChrifV 
tiaa &thers, ftrongly attached to Platontfm, which 
was the prevalent fyftem during the exiftence of thd 
lower empire, confined their refearches to the idle 
chimeras of myfticifm. But the purer fyftems of 
former times found refuge among a people, whofe 
warlike hal^its and intolerant religion miight juftly 
have been confidered, at a diftance, as threatening 
their inevitable deffru£tion. Prior to the eftablifh* 
ment of Iflaniifm by Mahomet, and for fome time 
after it, philofophy was unknown to his followers. 
With the commencement of the Abaffidean dynafty 
in the eighth century, the light of fdence lieganto 
dawn on the Moflem nations. Undo: Al-Mamon 
in the following age, learning of every kind was cul- 
tivated with avidity. Schools were inftituted, and 
ioag continued to flourifh at Bagdat, Baflbrah» and 
other places. The benign influence of knowledge 
was extended^ wHh the Saracen empke, to the 
wefiern realms j and Rafi, Averroes, and Avicenna^ 


14 i'lP^ AKD WRITING ^ 

are names T?hich merit the refped and gratitude of 
later ages. 

On the extinftion of Alexandrian Platonifm 
among the Pagans, about the feventh century, we 
can trace its remains among the oriental Chriftians 
cmly, and chiefly among the monks, in whofe com- 
munities the doftrines of Ariftoile were ftili pre- 
ferved. The Peripatetic philofophy now began to 
revive, and from the recefs of the cloifter to fpread 
through the eaft. This was principally efiecled by 
the labours of John Damafcenus, who employed 
the Ariftotelian dogmas in aid of theology, and 
who may not improperly be confidered as the har- 
binger of the fcholaflic philofophy. But the talk 
of diflfufing it fo extenfively as to enfure its per- 
manence, was too great to be accomplifhed by an in- 
dividual; and after his time, barbarifm prevailed 
till the eighth century, when learning, encouraged 
by the attention it received under the Emperor 
Michael, irradiated fbr a time the fetting glories of 
the fucceflbrs of Conftantine. 

In the meanwhile, and during the eighth and 
xunth centuries, Bede, Rabanus, Eginhard, £ri- 
gena, Abelard, and others, flourifhed in the weft. 
The memorable controverfy between the Nominalifls 
and Realifts, which engrofied the difcuflfions of the 
literary world in the following ages, fprung fix)m 
the leSures and writings of Anfelm, Berenger, 
Lanfranc, Rofcelin, and their contemporaries, whofe 
lives and labours were improfitably wafted in dia* 



leftic fubtleties. Their fyftems, if an aflemblage 
of ^incoherent notions can deferve that appellation^ 
v/ere compounded of opinions derived from polemic 
theology and the Ariflotelian pbilofophy as taught 
by the Arabians. Yet, with all their abfurdities, 
fome of their leading tenets dill demand our 
aflent ; and the very names of Nominalifts and 
Realifts were epithets, which did not owe their 
origin to the farcaftic fancy of opponents, but 
actually charaderifed the dogmas they inculcated. 

From the time of Rofcelinus and Peter Abelard 
to the revival of letters, we find the fcholaftics 
divided into various other kOtSj befides the more 
celebrated branches of Nominalifts and Realifts, 
fuch as the Albertifts, Thomifts, Scotifts, Accamifts, 
&c« fo termed from their refpeftive leaders. 

We now enter on a more aufpicious period. 
To the fall of the Conftantinopolitan empire in the 
middle of the fifteenth century, may be afcribed 
the diftemination of the Greek language in the 
weft, and, confequently, the introduction of a tafte 
for the writings of the ancients. Attempts were 
made to reftore and correfk the fedlarian meta- 
phyfics of the Grecian fchools. Poets fatirizcd, 
and learned men refuted, the dogmas of the fcho- 
laftics, and thus paved the way for the refor- 
mation of pbilofophy. Under the patronage of 
Cofmo di Medici, John Argyropulus tranflated 
Ariftotle's Phyfics and Ethics, and added com- 
mentaries. On tbefe he read lectures at Rome 



with the fan^kion of the pope, who granted him 
a Regular falary. Plato, Epidetus, and other 
xnoraUfts, were illuftrated by the talents of Poll* 
um* Ariftotle, honpcver, appears to have ftill 
been the fisivouritt of the fcholar. His Rhetoric 
and feveral other pieces were tranflated by Henno* 
laut Barbaras, and his Categories, with Porphyry's 
IntrodufUon, by Manettus, a Florentine, who wrote 
many original treatifes on mind, the univerle, truth, 
and other abftrufe fubje&s. His Ethics and Poli- 
tics were commented on by Donatus Acciailus, a 
pupil of Argyropulus ; and his trad De Anima et 
Analyiica P^Jleriore was explained by Apollinaris 
OSred. Pletho of Conftantinople, whofe prot rafted 
life extended beyond a century, was a keen and 
induftrious Platonift. The dodrines of the Acade- 
mic were defended by BefTario, bifliop of Nice, 
and afterwards patriarch of Conftantinople, but lat- 
terly a member of the conclave under Eugenius IV. 
Beflario is knovm as the obfcure tranflator of 
Xenophon's ASemorabilia, the Metaphyfic of Arif- 
totle, and that erroneoufly afcribed to Theophraftus. 
His antagonift was George Trapezuntius, or George 
of Trebizond, who tranflated part of the writings 
of Plato and Ariftotle, and taught rhetoric and 
philofophy at Venice and at Rome. P^leologus, 
Francifcus Philelphus, Georgius Scholarius, Theo- 
dore Gaza, Marfilius Ficinus, Lauremius Valla, 
and other eminent literati, adorned the court and 
times of the Medici, who could alTo boaft of a 
Dante, a Petrarch, a Boccace, and an Aretin. 
The literature of thefc times has been lately de- 


veloped and illuftrated by Mr. Rofcoe and other 
writers, with much perfeverance of rcfcarch, elc- 
gance of ftyle, and claflic erudition. 

The reformation of religion, by ftimulating the 
zeal, and calling into afti6n the talents of the 
learned, formed a memorable epoch in the hiftory 
of literature and philofophy. Erafmus, Vives^ 
Nizolius, and other fatirids, expofed to ridicule 
the dogmatifm of the fcholaftics. Luther^ Me*, 
lanfthon, Faber, Agricola, the inde&tigable Canie* 
rarius, and their contemporaries, laboured with 
ailiduity to correft metaphyfical errors. It is 
ftrange, that the chimeras and confufed jargon of 
both the Stoic and Peripatetic philofophy fliould 
have ilill maintained a flroAg footing in the fchools. 
In fad, the literati of that age were fo wedded to 
antiquity, that they revived the different Grecian 
feds, and ranged themfelves under the ftandards 
of the ancient mafters. Picus, who had formed 
an uncouth mixture of the Cabbaliftic dodrines 
and the tenets of Plato and Pythagoras, was fol- 
lowed by Reuchlin, Venetus, Agrippa, and Henry 
More. On the contrary, Patricius, Gale, Cud- 
worth, and others, rejeding the notions of the 
myftics, endeavoured to reftore Alexandrian Pla- 
tonifm. Honoratus Faber, who has been already 
mentioned, Lobkowitss of Madrid, and Ricciolus 
the Athenian Jefuit, taught a compound fyftem of 
Ariftotelian and fcholaftic philofophy; while the 
purer dodrines of the Peripatetic were preleded 
on by Gaza, George Trapeziintius, Scholarius, 

.C Melandhon, 


Melanfthon, Niphus of Calabria, Pomponatus 
of Mantua, his pupil Simon Porta, and So- 
nerus of Nuremburg, the follower of Galen in 
medicine, and the zealous advocate of Socinian- 
ifm. Ariftotle alfo found an able partizan in Her- 
mannus Conringius, who was one of the mod 
illuftrious ornaments of the German fchools, and 
to whofe prolific pen the world owed a diverfity 
of tra£b in theology, medicine, law, policy, and 
philofophy. He was a violent opponent of the 
Cartefian fyftem. 

If we had not indifputable proofs of the childifli 
veneration, which was fo long and univerfally paid 
to the Ariftotelian philofophy, we fhould rejed the 
accounts of it as fabulous : even the moft devious 
fancy could not have furmifed the extent and force 
of its influence. To illuftrate and diflfufe it feem 
to have been the fole objed and labour of the 
fcholar ; and, from the fubjoined lift of commen- 
tators and fcholiafts on the writings of the Peripa- 
tetic, an opinion may be formed of the lamentable 
perverfion of genius, and the extreme wafte of toil 
and of time beftowed on them. It is not meant, 
however, to give a complete lift : their number 
amounted, perhaps, to fix times ai many as are 
inferted ; and all his editors are omitted, for 
whpfe names recourfe may be had to the Biblio- 
theca Grseca of Fabricius. The catalogue was com- 
piled to gratify the writer's own curiofity, and is 
introduced here to imprefs on the reader a fenfc 
gf the contempt^ which a future age beftows on 

3 - the 

the ilUdirefted purfuits of men, however refpcSed 
by their contemporaries for knowledge and talents *• 


^ A lift of fome of the commentators and fcholiafts on Arit 
totle's philofophical works. 

Ariftoteiis Ethica, cum commentar. Donati Acciaioli et 
Volateran. publifhed in folio at Venice, 1576. The /anup 
cum comment. Acciaioli et ex interpretatione Joan . Argyro* 
poli, Logd. 156J9 8c Franck. I59<5. 

Johannis de Guevara commentarii in AriSotelis mechanicaSf 
Rome, 1627. 

Alexandri Aphrodifienlis in Topica Ariftoteiis — hj Aldu8« 
Venice, 15 13. 

Baptiftx Flavii Paraphrafis in Ariftoteiis Meteorologica, Ve* 
net. 1597. Franc. 158 1. 

Themiftius in lib. Ariftot. 0^0 aufcultation. tres de animt* 
unum de memoria et reminifcentia, fomno et ▼igilia, infomniit et 
divinatione in fomno, ex recent Hermolaei Barbari. 

Aphrodifienfis in libros de anima ex interpret. H. Donatif 
felio, Psfris, 1528. 

Joan. Grammaticas in primoa quatuor Ariftoteiis de natundi 
aufcultatidne commentar. foL Venice, X535* 

Olympiodori in Meteora Ariftoteiis comment, fcholia Phi* 
loponi in primum Meteorum Ariftotelis^by Aldus at VenicCf 
ijji, folio. 

Joan. Gramtnaticus in libr. dc anima, ib. 1535. 

Lucnlli Philalthari ini AriftoteL de anima comment, folio^ 
15 79, Aug. Taur. 

Joan. Grammatici Cjbmment. in priora Analytica AriftoteL 
priMed in Greek by Aldus 1536, folio ; and alfo at Venice in 
ij^, interprete Ateitan^o Ju((infano. 

Ib. in pofteriora refoluV>ri9, ib.— et Idem per Theodofiumy 
at Venice, 1S53* 

Philoponus in Ariftot. de Pbyfica aufcult. i J34, foUo— «t 
Idem, at Veific^ 1559; Jo^W Rafarib interprete. 

Bapttfta FlaYius in Ariftoteiis Meteoiologica, Fani ij^i* 

C 9 Aleiandr* 


Whilft Ficinus was reviving Platonifm in Italy, 
and Faber difTeminating the Ariftotelean philofopby 


' Alcxandr. Aphrodifienfis com. in priora analytica, ioterprete 
Bernardo Fcliciano. &c. folio, 1560, Venice — Paris, 1542. 

Ejufd. comment, in Ariftotelis libros Eienchorum, interprete 
Gafpare Marccllo, folio, Venice, 1546; and in Greeks ij^o, 
Aldus — & Florence, 152 1. 

Auguilinus Niphus in eofdem, folio, Venice, 1551. 

Ludov. Buccaferrei praclediones in Ariftot. de phjfico 

Franc. Vicomercati commentarii in Ariftotelis Meteorologica, 
fol. Paris, 1546 — et Venice, 1565. 

Ariftotelis Ethica, cum commentario Petri Vifloris, 1583. 

Petrus ViAor in Ariftotelis Rhetoricam, Bafil, 1^49. 

Auguftinus Niphus in Ariftotelem dc coelo ct mundo, Venice, 

1540- 1553' J554- 
Ammonius in quinque praedicabilia Ariftotelis. 

Euftratii et aliorum Peripateticonim commcntaria in libros 
decern^ Ariftotelis de moribus ad Nicomachum, Venice* Aldus^ 
J536, folio. 

Simplicii commentarii in quatuor Ariftotelis libros de czloy 

Idem in Ariftot. de anima. 

Aphrodifzus in librum de fenfu et fenlibili. 

Simplicius in decem categorias, Venice, 1499. 

Idem in o£io Ariftotelis libros dc aufcultatione, 15^. 

Micb. Epbefius in librum de memoria et reminifcentia ; de 
fomno et vigilia ; de fomniis, de dirinatione per fomnium, de 
motu aninuilium, de longitudine et brevitate vitse, de juventute 
et fenedute, ct vita ac morte, de refpiratione, de greffa amma« 
lium, 1527. 

Ammonius et Margentinus in Ariftot. vtpl i^^mim^. 

Pfelli in eundem paraphrafis. 

Ammonius in decem pnedicameiiUt Aid. 1503 ; ctiam^ 
1541 and 1544. 

ldci|i in Porphjrii inftittttionon* Ariftotclit categorias, et 



in France, Reilchlin profefled and taught a myfti- 
cal fyftem, compounded of Platonic, Pythagoric, 


Itbrum de interpretatione, Joanne Baptida Rafarip interprete, 
Venice, 1559. 

Alex. Aphrodifienfis in moteorologica, Joanne Baptffta 
Camotio interprete, Venice, 1556. ) 

£jufdem qusediones naturales et morales de fato, Veiiice« 

Pfellus in phyiicam, interprete Joanne BaptiRo Camotio, 
Aid. 1554. 

Philoponus in metaphyfica ex verfione Francifci patritii^: 
Ferrariae, 1583, folio. 

£uilratiu8 in fecund urn librum pofteriorum Analyticorum, 
et innominati audoiis expofitioncs in eundem Andrea Gratiolo 
interprete, Venice, 1542. 

Ammonius in librum de interpretatione Bartholoroxo Silvaoio 

Olympiodorus et Philoponua in Meteora, interprete Joan. 
Bapt. Camotiot Venice, 1551. 

Porphyrius in przdicamenta, et 

Dexippus in ead. Arid. Bernardo Feliciano interprete, Ve« 
nice, 1546, folio. 

Philoponus in libros de generatione et corruptione, interprete 
Hieronymo Bagotino, Venice, 1526, 1543. 

Michael Ephefius in libros 3 Ariftot. de partibus anima- 

Alex. Aphrodifaei queftiones de anima. 

Joan. Grammatici Philoponi in libros de generatione et hite«* 
ritu. Aid. 1527. 

Magentinus in priora Analytica Aridot. 

Alex. Aphr«difa:u8 in duodccim libros de prima philofophia, 
interprete Joanne Genelio Sepulveda, Venice, 1561. 

Joannes Breverus in phyficam, Lovan. 1567. 

Georgii Pachymerii in univerfam Ariftotelis philofophiam 
epitome, interprete Philippo Bechio — at Bafil in 1560. 

Simplicius in Ariftotelem de phyfico auditu — at Paris, 1544-^ 
^udlio Fbilaltbco interprete. 

C 3 Sim-. 


and Cabbaliflic doflrines. He was the author of 
feveral profound treatifes in philofophy, although 


Simplicius in pnedicamcnta Ariftotelis— at Venice^ ^5S^ 
Idem in qoatuor libros Ariftotclis de caelo» — at Venice^ ^ J44f 
CDcn nova veriione lat. 

Aoonjmus in Ariftotclis Rhetorica, — atParitj 1539. From 

the royal prefs. 

Averrets in jirifloteRs opera mnma in 13 toIs. 8fO« Vcnet* 
apud Jun6^att 1562. 

Taurelli Synopfis Metaphyficet Ariftotclis ad normam Chrifr 
turnae rdigionia, Hanov. 1596 — Taurelhu u the cndbor of Cofp 
nologia ad?erfu8 Pcripatcticos, ct Triumphus Philofophiae* 

Francifci Tolcdi introdud. ad dialc6ticam Ariftot. 

Joanoit Velcurionis in phyftcam Ariftot. comment* — at Tur 
bingen, 1542. 

Obertus Giphanius in Ethica Ariftotclis. 

Idem in Ariftotclis politica. 

Joach. Pcrionii obfcrvat. in Ariftot. polit. Badly 1549* 

Jacobus Schegkius in Topica Ariftot. 1585. 

Ariftot. Rhctorica cum comment. Portorum, Spirae, 159B. 

Ead. et poctica cum comment. Anton. Riccoboni^ Venice^ 

Arift. dc anima cum comment. Pacii^ Franck. 1596. 

Georgii Trapezuntii comparationet Ariftotclis et Platonit^ 
Venet. 1523. 

Petri Rami animadverfiones Ariftotelicae, Paris, 1556. 

Idem in phyGca Ariftot. — at Paris, 1565. 

Marc. Ant. ZimarsB tabula dilucidationum fuper Ariftotelem 
Ct Averroem, Venet. 1576, 1564. 

Alfharabii, vetujl'tjftm jlrlftotelu interpret'uf opera omnia, 
Paris 1638. 

Symphorianus Champerius de philofophia, medicioa et theo* 
logia, fecundum Ariftotelem ct Platoncm. 

Julii Pacii in o^ lib. Ariftot. naturalis aufcultationis com* 

Bamardini Donati differentia Platon. et Ariftot. philofopbiaet 




ftrangely interlarded with his peculiar notions. 
Cornelius Agrippa, a man of great induflry and 


Gcorgius Diaconus in logic. Ariftot. Paris, 1547, cum vcr« 
done Joannis Rafarii. 

Grynaci fcholion in Ariftotelcm dc oiundoi Bafil, 1533. 

Franc. Patritii difcuffionea Pcripatcticac, Bafil, 1581, 

Maioragii Paraphrafis in Anftotelis libro8 de czlO| item ge- 
nera tione ac intent u ; Bafil, 1554. 

Septalii comment, in Aridotelis problemata. 

Petri Vi£iorii comment, in lib. Rhetoric. Arid. 2 volt. 


Ejufd. comment, in lib. politicorum Arid. 1576. 

Ammonius et alii in Analytica Ariftot. 1503, Aldus. 

Joannes Cottunius in odlo lib. Ariftotelis de phyiico 

Andr. Caefalpini Quaeftiones Peripateticse. 

Alex. Aphrodifxus in Ariftotelem de prima philofophia, in- . 
terprete Sepulveda, Paris, 1536. 

Ariftot. politicorum lib. prim, et fee. cum comment. Monte- 
calini. He comments alfo on Plato de rep. et de legibus, 
Ferrara, ^594* 

Ariftot. Politica et (Economica cum commentariis Jacobi 
Fabri Stapulenfis. 

Simon Simonii comment, in Ariftot. de fenfuum inftru* 
mentis, et de his quae Tub fenfum cadunt. 

lb. in librum de reminifcentia et memoria, apud Joan. Crifpin. 


Beffarionis Mctaphyficorum Ariftot. xiv. Aldus, 15 16. 

M. Ant. Flaminii Paraphrafis in duodecimum Arift. librua^ 
de prima philofophia, 1536, Venice. 

Julii Cacf. Scaligeri comment, in Arift. de plantis. 

Hier. Balduini expofitio in libros aliquot phyficos Arift. ct 
Averroisy Venice, 1573. 

Porphyrii introdud. in diale£licen} folioy Lovan. 1560. 

Philoponus in libros Arift. de animay i535* 

C 4* Ludoviont 

24 ^l^^ ^^^ WRITINGS 

genius, was, like too many of the literary cha* 
rafters of that age, (Irongly tindured with myfti'* 


Lodovicas Boc^ferrttis io IV. Meteor. Arift. 15639 

P. Pomponati dabitationcs in IV. mctcorologicoruiny 

Auguftini Niphi connnent. in 0^0 libros Topicorum Arift. 
7542, Paris apud Wechel. 

Antonii Scayni paraphrafis in Ariftotelcm de anima» Sec. 
1599, Venice. 

Librorum X. Arift. moralium tres converfiones, Argyropoli^ 
Aretini, et antiqua» hj Hen. Ste|^han, 1516, Paris, who 
printed and edited Beflario*! and Argyropylus'tf comment, on 
the Metaph. of Ariftotle and Theophraftus. 

Pauli Benii in Ariftot. libros de eloqnentia commentarii. 

Camil Baldus in phyfiognomica Ariftotelis. 

Ammonii Hermez in Ariftot. praedicamenta comment. in« 
^erprete Bartbolomaeo Silvanio, Paris, 1542. 

Bafcianus Landus in Arift. libros de anima, Venice, 1569. 

Fr. Vicomeraati in Ariftotelem de naturali aufcultationct 
1567, Venice and Paris, 1550. 

Mazonii in Platonis et Ariftotelis philofophiam praeludiay 
1579, Venice. 

Auguftini Niphi comment, in phyf. aufcult. Arift. lib. 8, 
Venice, 1549. 

Martini Borrhaei comment, in Arift. rhetorica, Baftl 1551. 

Alex. Aphrodifienfis in prima philofophia, intcrprete 
Sepulvcda, J 527, Rome. 

Simpiicii comment, in 06I0 Ariftot. hbros de aufcultat* 
Venice, apud Aldum. 

Alex. Aphrodifienlis in Arift. priora Analytical Aldus, 

Joan. Pbiloponos in Metaphyfica Ariftot* intcrprete PatriciO| 
J583, Fcrrar. 

Simplicius de phyfica Ariftot. intcrprete Philalihaeo, 

Anftot* Mechanical cum commcDt. Monantkolii. 



cifm. Powerful attempts were made to introduce 
new methods of philofophifmg. Among the 


Antonii Ruviorodienfis comment, in Arift. libros decacio ct 

Zabarella in Arid, phyfica, de gcncrationc, et mctcora. 

Ariftotelis ethica explicata, et collata cum S. Scriptura per 
Pclrum Martyrcm ct Ande. Hyperium. 

Jo. Baptida Monlorius in priora analytica Ariftotclisy Franc* 

Dilucidationes 3 libror. Arid, de anima per Vincentium 
Quintianum, Bonon. IJ75. 

Anton. Rufiorodieniis comment, in Arid, dialed. I534» 

PlatOnis cum Aridotele comparatio per Jac. Carpentarium, 
I573> Paris. 

Porphyrias in Arid. Categorias^ in Greek, at Paris, 1549. 

P. Athanaili Aridotelis fententise de anima explicatio. 

In Aridotelis univerfam naturae phiiofophiam Theod. Melo- 
chitx paraphrafis, Bafil, 1 562. 

Aridotelis Ethicorum explicatio per Jo. Camerarium, 15789 

Dion. Lambini annotation, in lib. x. Arid, de moribus, Pa- 
ris, 1558. 

Nicol. GruchiuB in eofdem, Paris, 1,566. 

Franc. Toleti comment, in Arid* logicam, Colon. 1596. 

Theodori Methochitse in Aridotelis phyfica paraphrafis La- 
tine per Gentianum Hervctum, Bafil, 1559. 

Thf Gianninii difput. Aridot. de fubdant. carli et ftellarum 

Joan. Hamiltonii prxludia in Organum Arid. 1580, 

Petri Martyris Vermilii comment, in ethica AridoteliSf 
Tigur. 1563, 

Jac. Carpentarii lib. xiv. Arid, de fecretiore parte divins 
fapicntiae fccundum ^gyptios, 157 1, Paris. 

Syriani in 2, 1 2» & 13 Arid, libros metaphyficos comments- 
rius LatinCi per Bagolinumi Vcnetiifi 1558. 



more celebrated of modem fceptics, Sanchez, 
Hemhaym, Vayer, Huet, and Bayle, may be 
noticed with diftinftion. A fe£t of fcriptural phi- 
lofophers arofe, among whom were the names of 
Aided, Burnet, Whifton, Comenius, and Bayer; 
and who, defpairing of being able to arrive at 
truth by the aid of common fenfe, had recourfe to 
their bibles, and endeavoured to rear a new phi- 
lofophic ftrufture, chiefly on the Mofaic cof- 

In the mean time another clafs, who had been 
denominated Theofophifts, difdaining to employ 
the underftanding in their metaphylical refearches, 
boldly laid claim to divine illumination. This 
&nciful pretention owed its origin, in feveral in- 
{lances, to impoflure and knavery ; and, in others, 
to the difordered imagination of the vifionary. 
Paracelfus, who certainly poflefled a ftupendous 
and univerfal genius, was at the head of this icGt 
during his buftling but fhort life ; and his difciples 

Lud. Buccafcrrez explanationes in primum phyficorum Arif- 
totdis, Venice, 1559. 

Fr. Vicomercati in 3 lib. Arid, dc anima^ Venice, 1566. 

Problemata Ariftotelis et Aphrodifienfis, interprete Theod. 
Gaza, apud Aldum. 

Th. Aquinas in odo libros phyficorum Ariftotdis, 15579 
^ Id. in libros de calo et mundo. 

Id. in lib. Arift. vipt l^fMntHeti et pofteiiorum Analyticoruin, 
1552, Venice. 

Zaffiti comment, in pofteriora analytica, 1561, Venice, &c. 
9cc» cum multis aliis antiquis interp. Ariilot. oper. 



were numerous. It was alfo followed by Fludd^ 
Boehman, Helmont, and Poiret ; and the famous 
fyftem of the Roficrucians partook deeply of its 
charaderiftic tenets. 

The common fenfe of mankind, however, op« 
poied an effeftual obflrci&ion to the diffiifion of 
thefe ridiculous opinions. The true ecledic method 
of improving philofophy began to be profecuted, 
not indeed that followed by the Alexandrian 
fchool, but that which, by renouncing prejudices 
of every kind, fubjeded the fentiments of others 
to the rigid fcrutiny of reafon, and admitted no 
conclufions, excepting thofe deducible from prin- 
ciples founded in the nature of things, and di£* 
covered by experience. Cardan, Bacon, Cam* 
panella, Hobbes, Defcartes, Leibnitz, Thomas^ 
and Wolfe, were among thofe who cultivated phi- 
lofophy in general in this manner. But learned 
men had now found it necefiary, from the progrefs 
which fcience had made, to attach themfelves to 
particular branches of it in order to promote its 
further advancement. Accordingly we find logic 
and metaphyfics illLfLrated by Peter Ramus, Ar- 
nold, Spinoza, Mallebranche, Tfchernhaufen, 
Locke, Shaftefbury, Mandeville, Berkeley, and 
Butler ; while natural philofophy or phyfics en- 
grofled the attention and labours of Gopemicus, 
Tycho-Brahe, Kepler, Gallileo, Bayle, and. 



From this rapid but fuperficial iketch of the 
hiftory of metaphyfics, it will appear, that Mr. 
Hume's undertaking was of a gigantic nature, 
whether he wiflied merely to difplay his erudition 
\by detailing the fentiments of others, and his 
judgment in adopting their beft founded opinions ; 
or aimed at obtaining the charader of an original 
thinker. A vafl body of Icience was already in 
the poiTeilion of the public ; and unlefs he could, 
by condenfing its eifence, facilitate the means of 
acquiring a knowledge of it, correft former errors, 
and eftabliih as indifputable the firft principles of 
metaphyfics, no ferious advantage could refult 
from his labours. He has not, however, accom- 
pUihed any of thefe objeds j while by neglefting 
to acknowledge the fources from which the doc- 
trines he fupports were derived, he has given to 
them the appearance of originality at the expence 
of his candour and learning. On this point, he 
is no lefs faulty in the two Enquiries, which he 
afterwards fubftituted in place of his Treatifej 
although in many of his literary and political eflays, 
he is extremely lavifli of references to ancient au- 

After publifliing his Treatife, our author retired 
to Ninewells, where his mother refided, and 
where he found his brother very fuccefsfolly em- 
ployed in cultivating the family eftate. In the 
(latiftical account of Scotland *, this gentleman is 

• Vol. xiv. Farifh of ChirnGdc. 



mentioned in honourable terms, for having fet the 

example of agricultural improvement in that part 
of the country. 

The felf-complacency of a young writer is ever 
ready to difcover reafons, and contrive excufes, 
for the want of fuccefs in his earlier undertakings ; 
and David, being naturally of a fanguine temper, 
gradually recovered from his chagrin *. Even his 


* I have here adopted the account, which Mr. Hume gives 
of his own feelings upon this occafion, and in which he tells 
us, that he was naturally of a cheerful and fanguine temper. 
In the London Review, vol. v. p. 200, (anno i777j) c^*tc^ 
by Dr. Kenrick, there is a note on this paflage in our author's 
biographical narrative^ entitled^ My Own Life, rather inimical 
to the amenity of difpofition claimed by him. The reviewer 
bys, — ** (6 fanguine, that it does not appear our author had ac* 
quired^ at this period of his life, that command over his paifions 
of which he afterwards makes his boaft. His difappointment 
at the public reception of his £(Iay on Human Nature, had 
indeed a violent c£Fe6t on bis paffions in a particular inftance ; 
it not having dropped fo dead-bfirn from the prefs, but that it 
was feverely handled by the reviewers of thofe times in a pub- 
lication entitled, The Works of the Learned \ a circumftancc 
which fo highly provoked our young philofopher, that he flew 
io a violent rage to demand fatisfaftion of Jacob Robin foa, the 
publifher, whom he kept, during the paroxyfm of his anger, at 
his fword's point, trembling behind the counter left a period 
fhould be put to the life of a fober critic by a raving philo« 

Kenrick's Review was held to be rather an illiberal produp« 
tioD, and not over-nice as to the correftnefs of its aifertions. 
It is now impofiible to afcertain, whether this anecdote be true 
or falfc. The review of Hume's Life is figned W, a very 
common fignature, and| I fufpeAj that of Kcnnck bimfelf» 



Btcraiy ardour was not abated by the bad rcccp* 
tion, which his laft produflion experienced ; and 
during his abode at Ninewells he laboured with fo 
much ai&duity, as to be able to ufher into the 
world, in 1 742, two fmall volumes of ^Jfays Moral 
and Philofophual *. Thefe trails, which form the 
firft part of his Effays, as now colleQed, were 
more propitioufly received by the public ; and this 
compenfated, in fome degree, for his former dif- 
appointment, and even effaced the recolledion 
of it. 

To the induftry of Hume fo aufpicious a cir- 
cumftance gave a new ftimulus. If he had fuf- 
fered his bad fortune to reprefs all future efforts ; 
if, difcouraged by negleft, he had remained in- 
active in obfcurity, we (hould not have poflefled 
that hiftorical work, whfch now bears its author's 
name in triumph through the world. The exam- 
pie is ^Eivourable to the hopes and exertions of the 
juvenile fcholar, who may footh himfclf with the 
recollection, that Hume experienced reiterated 
defeats ; yet, like Antsus, gathering ftrength by 
his fall, he finally obtained the wreath of immor- 

whofe name was William ; though he ufually figned K| when 
he openly acknowledged^ or was indifferent as to the notoriety 
of what criticifms were of his own compofition. His fon 
William -Shakefpcare Kenrick was the afliftant of his father, 
mnd, on the latter^s death, the profelTed editor of the London 
Review during thcf (hort period of its cxiftencc^ 
* Printed at £diDbui|;h, i8mo. 



Thefe Effays, the occafional produftions of hii 
vacant evenings, embrace a multiplicity of fub* 
jeds, but without any regard to a connefted plan 
of difquifition. All of them difplay much acute- 
nefs of remark, and extent of reading ; and thofe 
on moral and literary topics will not lofe by being 
compared with the fimilar performances of our 
mod celebrated effayifts. Even where we diffent 
from his conclufions, we are condrained to ac- 
knowledge the ingenuity of his arguments, and 
the forcible manner in which he employs them. 
Mr. Hume, it is true, does not reft his reputation 
on his Effays ; but little difcemment was neceffary to 
prefage, that, from fo promifing a fpecimen, no- 
thing but induftry and a popular fubjeft were re- 
quired to enable him to attain the charader of an 
eminent and enlightened writer. 

In an advertifement prefixed to the firfl: volume, 
he intimated that mod of the Effays were written 
with a view of being publiftied as weekly papers, 
and intended to' comprehend the defigns both of 
the SpeSators and Crafifmen. '* But,'* conti- 
nued he, " having dropt that undertaking, partly 
from lazinefs, partly from want of leifure j" and 
being willing to make trial of my talents for writ- 
ing, before I ventured upon any more ferious 
compofitions, I was induced to commit thefe 
trifles to the judgment of the public. Like mod 
new authors, I muft confefs I feel fome anxiety 
concerning the fuccefs of my work ; but one thing 
makes me more fecure, that the reader may con- 


demn my abilities, but, I hope, will approve of^ 
my moderation, and impartiab'ty in my method of 
handling political fubjeds; and as long as my 
moral charafter is in fafety, 1 can, with lefs con<* 
cem, abandon my learning and capacity to the 
mod fevere cenfure' and examination. Public 
fpirit, methinks, fhould engage us to love the 
public, and to bear an equal affedion to all our 
countrymen ; not to hate one half of them under 
colour of loving the whole. This party rage I 
have endeavoured to reprefs, as far as poflible; 
and 1 hope this defign ^ill be acceptable to the 
moderate of both parties ; at the fame time that 
perhaps it may difpleafe the bigots of both. The 
reader muft not look for any connexion among 
thefe Eflays, but muft confider each of them as a 
work apart. This is an indulgence that is given to 
all effay-writers ; and, perhaps, fuch a defultory 
method of writing is an equal eafe both to author 
and reader, by freeing them from any tirefome 
ftretch of attention and application.'* 

This advertifement has been omitted in all the 
fubfequent editions of the Eflays ; but, indeed, no 
two editions of any part of Mr. Hume's works, 
publUhed in his life-time, ever agreed, as he was 
conftantly occupied in making additions or omif- 
fions, in occafionally incorporating the notes with 
the text, or relegating them to their original ftation. 
It cannot be faid of him, as Pope averred of an 
eminent poet, 

Ev'n copious Dry den wanted,, or forgot » 
The bft and greatcft art, the art to bk>t« 



The fubjefts of thefe Eiiays were the following * : 



Effay I. Of the Delicacy of Tafte and Pafllon. 
11. Of the Liberty of the Prefs. 

III. Of Impudence and Modejiy. 

IV. That Politics may be reduced to a 

V. Of the Principles of Government — nova 
intUled, Of the Firft Prmciples of 
VI. Of Love and Marriage. 
VII. Of the Study of Hi/lory. 
VIII. Of the Independency of Parliament. 
IX. Whether the firitifh Government in- 
clines more to abfolute Monarchy or 
a Republic. 
X. Of Parties in general. 
XL Of the Parties of Great Britain. 
XII. Of Superflition and Enthufiafm. 
XIIL Of Avarice. 

XIV. Of the Dignity of Human Nature — 
now intiiledj Of the Dignity or.Mean- 
nels of Human Nature. 
XV. Of Liberty and Defpotifm — now fntitJed^ 
Of Civil Liberty. 

^ Thofe marked in Italics, though inferted in the edition 
•f 1760, in 4 vols, were omitted in the future o^vo editions : 
they are publifhed in the Appendix to this work. 

D w 



Effay I. Of EJfay Writing. 

11. Of Eloquence. 

III. Of Moral Prejudices. 

IV. Of the Middle Station of Life. 

V. Of the Rife and Progrefs of the Artaf 

and Sciences. 
VI. The Epicurean. 
VII. The Stoic. 
VIII. The Platonift. 
IX. The Sceptic. 
X. Of Polygamy and Divorce. 
XI. Of Simplicity and Refinement — now in* 
titled^ Of Simplicity and Refinement 
in Writing. 
XII. A Charaaer of Sir Robert Walpole. 

As Mr. Hume has thought proper to mention a 
trifling inftance of his laborious application to 
letters, it may be likewife noticed in this work. In 
the ordinary courfe of education he had learned 
the Greek tcmgue, but afterwards negleded to 
make any efibrt to preferve his knowledge of it.^ 
He now availed himfelf of the tranquillity of his 
rural retreat to recover and cultivate his acquaint- 
ance with that language. 

In this ftate of lettered eafe, he fpent more than 
three years at Ninewells. His ftation in life fe« 
cured him from the danger of want ; yet, as he 



had no fettled purfuit, and \vas a younger brother 
without a profeflion, his profpcfls were not the 
moft brilliant. The reputation, which he had ac- 
quired, was too feeble to ferve by itfdf as a fuf« 
ficient recommendation to public notice j but he 
was prepared to improve opportunity. The friends 
of the Marquis of Annandale, a young nobleman 
whofe unfortunate ftate of mind and health re- 
quired the fuperintendance of another, pitched on 
our author as a proper perfon to undertake that 
charge ; and, accordingly, in 1 745, he was in- 
vited by the Marquis to come and refide with him 
in England. The invitation was accepted, and 
Mr. Hume continued with him about a year. The 
falary allowed him made a confiderable addition to 
his fmall fortune, which he had hufbanded with 
the moft perfevering frugality. It would, per- 
haps, have been fortunate for the Marquis, if he 
had retained, his literary companion; as, in that 
cafe, it is probable, that the latter part of his life 
would not have been involved in the myfterious 
gloom, in which it was enveloped. 

In 1 746, the Britifti miniftry, having planned an 
expedition againft Canada, conferred the com- 
mand of it on Lieutenant- General James St. Clair, 
who appointed Mr. Hume to be his fecretary. He 
accordingly left the Marquis, and joined the 
General ; but the deftination of this expedition was 
dter€.d to a Cold and unimportant incurfion on the 
coaft of France. In 1747, Hume was again in- 
vited by the General to accomjpany bim ixr his 

D 2 embafly 


cmbaffy to the courts of Vienna and Turin. Hd 
held, on this occafion, the ftation of fecretary, 
and, by mingling in the gay world, familiarized 
himfelf with the manners of the great. 

It was formerly mentioned, on the authority of 
Mr. Hume himfelf, that his fanguine turn of mind, 
ever ready to bend itfelf towards the bright fide of 
things, had afcribed the want of fuccefs, which 
his Treatife experienced, to too precipitate an ap- 
pearance before the public ; and that the manner 
in which the work was executed, rather than the 
do£irines it fupported, was the rock on which he 
had ftruck. Imprefled with this notion, he em- 
ployed the leifure, which his prefent fafliionable 
mode of life afforded, in retouching the firft part 
of that performance, and tranfmitted the manu* 
fcript from Turin to London, where it was printed 
under the new title of an Enquiry concerning Hu* 
man Underjlanding. 

The reception, which this prodoQion met with, 
was not calculated to confirm him in the opinion 
he entertained of the caufe of his former bad for- 
tune. In fad, it attraded as little notice as his 
Treatife had done ; and he himfelf tells us, that, on 
his return from Italy, he had the mortification 
to find all England in a ferment on account 
of Dr. Middleton^s Free Inquiry*, while his 

•JDr. Conycrs Middleton's Free Inquiry into (be miraculous 
Powers^ which are fuppofed to have fuhjijled in the Chrifiian 
Cbvrch, was publifhcd in 410. in 1749. It forms the firft of 
the five volumes of his Mifcelkaeous Works. 



own performance was entirely overlooked and 

In 1748, and immediately prior to the publica- 
tion of the Enquiry, his Effays, Moral and Politi- 
cal, were re-publiflied at London*; but, accord- 
ing to his own account, they were received with 
as much indifference as his new work had been. 
It is not now eafy to afcertain, whether this edi-i 
tion, which contained four additional elfays, was 
the fecond or the third : it was probably the latter ; 
and if this opinion be corred, a third edition in the 
fpace of fix years ought to have aflForded confola- 
tion to Mr. Hume on his recent difappointment. 
Perhaps, on perufal of thefe pieces, the reader will 
be inclined to think, that they had a better fate, 
than their merit entitled the author to expeft. 

The additional EfTays were, 

I . Of the Origin of Government. 

2* Of National Charafters. 

3. Of Tragedy. 

4. Of the Standard of Tafte. 

So many difcouragements, as he had cncoun- 
t^red by the untoward fortune of his literary 
produftions, would, doubtlefs, have had their full 
influence on a more timid mind. But our au- 
ijior's temporal circumftances were now eafy j 

• In i2mo. price 39. 

D 3 and 


:^id being totally independent of the faks of hi& 
works, he did not look to his pen for fupport : he 
fought only the reputation of a man of letters. 
No fenle of the neceflity of labour, no privations^ 
no ckmorous wants, obtunded his powers. In 
fo favourable a fituation, he could give full reins 
to his inclination : there was no call of hafte, no 
urgency to toil ; and he was not conftrained ta 
fit down, invUd Minervdy to his cheerlefs talk. 
Every new performance,^ therefore, matured in the 
bofom of tranquillity, may be regarded as a fair 
crkerbn of his talents at the time ; and from his 
unremitting perleverance, he feems to have im* 
bibed the true ciacoethes JcribendL 

In 1749, he retired to his brother's boufe Hi 
Ninewells, where he refided two years. During 
this period he compofed the fecond part of his 
Effays, which he ftyled PoUiicai Difcourfes. He 
likewife wrote his Enquiry concerning the Princi* 
pies of Morals y which, as has been already no- 
ticed, originally formed part of his treatife on 
Human Nature, but which he now thought pro- 
per to new-model. It was publilhed in London, 
in November 1751 *, by Andrew Millar, the 
well-known bookfeller in the Strand. This pro- 
duftion ftood highly in the author's favour, who, 
during the whole of his life, manifefted a ftrong 
predilection for it \ and he frankly tells us, that, 
in hi]s own opinion, it was, of all his writings, 

* In i2mo. price 36. 



hiftorical, philofophicaK or litenHry,. rncompaprably 
the bed : yer, like aH his fbnner labours^ it came 
unnoticed into the world. 


Mr. Hume left Ninewells in 1751, and efta- 
bliflied his refidence at Edinburgh , where his 
Politkai DiJcourf/:& were printed i» one voluine^ 
S^vo. and publifhed in tbe followiog yeaiv This 
performance was the only one, which net with a 
flattering reception, on its firft appeacasce ^ and ia 
^e fbort ^ace of two years^ it reached a thiid 
edition^ which was publiihed at London, with- ad^ 
ditions and corredtions *• 

Thefe Political Difcour&s were on the. following 
ftibj,e£ls : 

1. Of Commerce* 

2. Of Refinement in the Arts. 

3. Of Money. 

4. Of Intereft. 

5. Of the Balance of Trade. 

6. Of the Jealoufy of Trade. 

7. Of the Balance of Pow^r. 
8* Of Taxes, 

9, Of Public Credit. 
lo. Of feme remarkable Cudoms. 
1 1« Of the Populoufiiels of ancient Nationa. 
1 2. Of the original Contraft. 


*-Thie firft e&ion was pobKfhcd at Edinburgh- in U>e montb 
of Januaiy- 1753^ pric9 4s> tid. tbe fecoiui- by AmJrev Miilaf 
ia 1754- ^ 

D4 13. Oi 


13. Of Paflive Obedience. 

14. Of the Coalition of Parties. 

1 5. Of the Proteftant Succeffion. 

1 6. Idea of a perfed Commonwealth. 

In 1753, ^^ eleventh Eflay, viz. that on the 
Populoufneft of Ancient Nations, was attacked by 
Dr. Robert Wallace, one of the minifters of 
Edinburgh, in an o&avo volume intitled, A Dis- 
sertation ON THE Numbers of Mankind ik 


diXf centaining additional Objeruations on the fame 
Subjedj and fonie Remarks on Mr. Hume*s Political 
Difcourfe on the Populaufnefs of Ancient Nations •. 
The Rev. Mr. Adams likewife publifhed at Lon- 
don, in 1753, An Effay on Mr. Hume*s EJfay on 
Miracles. This laft Eflay is the tenth in our 
Author's Enquiry concerning Human Under* 

In the fame year, in which Mr. Hume's En- 
quiry concerning the Principles of Morals appeared, 
Mr. Henry Home, who was then at the bar, but 
afterwards better known as Lord Kames, pub- 
lifhed his celebrated Effays on the Principles of 
Morality and Natural Religion f. This work, al- 
though anonymous, attrafted great attention by 
the boldnefs of its refearch. It was attacked in 

♦ Publifhed at Edinburgh. 

f They were publifhed in the month of March 175 if 
121110. A new edicion appeared in 1758^ with akeratioos and 



Tarious pamphlets, the firft of which was pub- 
lifhed at Edinburgh under the title of A Letter 
occqfioned by the EJfays on Morality and Natural 
Religion. In December 1756, appeared Objec^ 
tions againjl the EJfays on Morality and Natural 
Religion examined \ and in May 1758, Remarks 
on the EJfays on the Principles of Morality and Natu^ 
ral Religion : in a Letter to a Minijier of the Church 
of Scotland^ by Mr. J. Edwards, Prefident of the 
College of New Jerfey. Some other trafts in an- 
fwer to his LordQiip will be afterwards mentioned* 

But the moft zealous, and certainly the moft 
dangerous of all his alTailants, was Mr, George 
Anderfon, a probationer of the church of Scot- 
land, who wrote an oftavo volume on the lubjeft, 
and gave it the name of An EJiimate of the Profit 
and Lofs of Religion, perfonally and publicly Jlated : 
illujlrated with References to EJfays on Morality and 
Natural Religion. It was publifiied at Edinburgh 
in November 1753. In the month of March that 
year, Mr. Hume*s tenets had been attacked by an 
anonymous writer, in a fmall volume, intitled, 
A Delineation of the Nature a^id Obligations of 
Morality : with ReJledions on Mr. Hume*s Inquiry 
concerning the Principles of Morals. Of this 
work a fecond edition appeared in February 1763, 
with an Appendix concerning the Office of Rcafon in 
Morals J and the Superiority of that Principle to 
Sentiment. It was the produftion of Mr. James 
B^our^ a Scottifli barrifler. 



On the publication of the lad mentioned t^raft, 
which was the only anfwer Mr. Hume cond^esdi^dl 
to Dotice^ he wrote the following letter, addrefled 
^^.Ta the Author of the Delmeatioa of the Nature 
and Obligations of Morality/' and left it with tho 

« Sir, 

•* When I write you, I know not to whom I 
am addrefSng myfelf : I only know he is one who 
has done me a great deal of honour, and to whofe 
civilities I am obliged. If we be ftrangers, I beg 
we may be acquainted, as foon as you think pro* 
per to difcover yourfelf : if we be acquainted al- 
ready, I beg we may be friends : if friends, ! beg 
we may be more fo. Our connexion with each 
other as men of letters, is greater than our differ- 
ence as adhering to different fefts or fyftems. 
Let us revive the happy times, when Atiicus and 
Caffms the epicureans, Cicero the academic, and 
Brutus the ftoic, could all of them live in unre- 
ferved friendfhip together, and were infenfiblie ta 
all thofe diftinCtions, except fo far as they fur- 
nifhed agreeable matter to difcourfe and converfa- 
tion. Perhaps you are a young man, and being 
full of thofe fublime ideas, which you have fo 
well expreffed, think there can be no virtue upon a 
more confined fyftem. I am not an old one ; but, 
being of a cool temperament, have always found,^ 
that more fimple views were fufficient to make me 


OF 0AVID HUME, £8<^ 4^ 

VlQ. iQ a reafonable manaer ; yn9f, xo^i^ pcjuirrKrcr ^s^^M-my } 
in this faith have t lived, aRd hope to die, 

^* Your civiUiie^ to me fo much over-batoncci 
your feverif ies, that I l^io^ld be ungrateful toi tako 
notice of ibme exprefllods which, in the. hea;^ o£ 
compofition, have dropped from your peft. I 
mull only complain, pf you a Hulc for a&rftrimg toi 
me the fentimems^ vrhich I have put inito the moullii 
of the Sceptic in the Dialogue. I have fewel.y eflh 
deavourcd to i»efute the fceptic, with all the force 
of which I am mafter -^ and my refutation mutt be 
allowed fincere, becaufe drawn from the capital 
principles of my fyftem. But ypu impute to ^le 
both the fentiments of the fceptic, and the fenti- 
ments of his antagonift,. which t cm never admit 
of. In every dialogue no more than one perfbn 
can be fuppofed to reprefent the author. 

*' Your feverfty on one head, that of chaflity," 
is fo great, and I am fo little confcious of having: 
given any juft occafion to it, that it has afforded me. 
a hint to fgrm a conjeQure, perhaps ill-grounded, 
concerning your perfon. 

" 1 hope to fteal a little leifure from my other 

occupations, in order to defend my philolbphy 

againft your attacks. If I have occafion to give a 

new edition of the work, which you. have ho* 

noured with an anfwer, I (hall, make great advan- 

tage of your remarks, and hope to obviate fome of 

your criiicifms. 

8 . "Your 

44 ^IP£ ^^^ WRITINGS 

" Your ftile is elegant, and full of agreeable 
imagery. In fome few places it does not fully 
come up to my ideas of purity and correftnefs. I 
fuppofe mine falls dill further fhort of your ideas. 
In this refpeft, we may certainly be of ufe to each 
other. With regard to our philofophical fyftems, 
I fuppofe we are both fo fixed, that there is no 
hope of any converfions betwixt us ; and for my 
part, I doubt not but we fhall both do as well to 
remain as we are« 

" I am, &c* 

" Edinburgh, March 15, 1753.'* 

The office of librarian to the Faculty of Advo- 
cates becoming vacant by the refignation of the 
learned Ruddiman, Mr. Hume, in January 1752, 
was chofen to fill it ; a ftation from which he de* 
rived little emolument, but which compenfated 
this want by placing an extenfive library at his 
command. In the fame month his friend Henry 
Home was appointed one of the lords of feffion 
by the title of Lord Kames ; and his illuflrious 
antagonid. Dr. Reid, was tranflated from the 
pafloral charge of the parifh of New Machar to a 
profefforftiip of philofophy in King's College, Aber- 
deen. Adam Smith had been made profeflbr of 
logic at Glafgow in January 1751 ; and, in April 
1752, he fucceeded Mr. Thomas Craigie, as pro- 
feffor of philofophy at the fame univerfity. The 
vacant chair of logic became the fubje£); of compe- 
tition. The candidates were Mr. James Clough, 



and the celebrated Edmund Burke ; and the for- 
mer gained no vulgar laurel, when he beheld his 
rival retiring difcomfited from the conteft. 

Gerard, another Opponent of our author, was, 
in the month of July of this year, appointed a 
profeflbr of philofophy in the Marifchal College, 
Aberdeen^ Blair was, at this time, one of the 
miniders of the Canongate of Edinburgh ; but it 
was not until the year 1756, that Robertfon re- 
ceived a paftoral charge in the capital. It is im- 
poffible to contemplate fo bright a conftellation of 
talents with indifference ; and while we yield to 
an impulfe of generous feeling, let us endeavour 
to imprefs on the remembrance of the prefent race 
of Scottifli literati, that to preferve the reputation, 
which their country has already attained, is no eafy 
tafk. But it is the part of pofterity not merely to 
emulate, but to excel their predeceffors, elfe fci- 
ence muft become ftationary. We enjoy the bene- 
fit of the learned labours of the laft generation; 
and vaft as thefe were, let us confole ourfelves 
with reflefting, that a well-direfted induftry will 
ftill carry us beyond them. Formidable, there- 
fore, as the lift of diftinguifhed Scotfmen was at 
the period to which we allude, to outdo them is 
worthy of the noble daring of liberal minds. 

So vaft a range of literature, as the library of 
the Faculty of Advocates prefented to Mr. Hume, 
feems to have emboldened his induftry; for he 



immediately formed the refolution of compiling a 
hiiftory of Engknd, At this thne, Rapin dc 
Thoyras, a French refugee, was the only reputable 
ivriter on the fubjcft. His work, however, was 
efteemed chiefly as a faithful chronicle or regifter of 
fads ; for, as was to be expefted from the pro- 
duftion of a ftranger writing in a foreign tongue, 
it could not boafl: of elegance of language, and wa« 
utiadoriied with thofc political reflexions which 
conftitute the pAilofophy of hiftorical compofition, 
and of which Thucydides and Polybius have tranf- 
mitted valuable examples. The hiftory of Rapin 
was a work of labour, but not of tafte. Hume 
had been accuftomed to difquifition ; and he car* 
ried with him to his new undertaking the bold and 
liberal fpirit of inquiry, which he had difplayed in 
his former writings. Intimidated, however, by 
the magnitude of a work, which was to contain a 
narrative of Englifli affairs during a period of 1700 
years, he felefted, for his firil: effay, that portion 
of it which commences with the acceflion of the 
Houfe of Stuart, and forms a mod important epoch 
m the Britifh annals. 

Other motives feem likewife to have influenced 
his choice. The hifl:orian of thofe times, when the 
gloom of feudalifni darkened Europe, has little 
elfe to relate but the fanguinary difputes of femi- 
barbarians, and the fatal confequences of family 
feuds. The contefls between rival candidates for 
the throne are not fufceptible of much ornament in 


Oir DAVID HtTME, 2SQ. 47 

pomt of language ; while the ferocious manners of 
warlike but illiterate chieftains, and their fol* 
lowers, do not promife much gratification to the 
inquifitive mind, in point of legiflation and ufeful 
policy. But fociety, like the individual, is pro^ 
grcfli ve : the invention of printing, and the gra» 
dual diffufion of knowledge among all ranks of 
men, fpread their benign influence throughout 
Europe ; and the peafant and the artizan rofe, as 
it were, in the fcale of being* They learned to 
inquire, to calculate their own value, and to probe^ 
with daring hands, the civil and ecclefiadical im- 
poftures of former days. Such were the happy 
eSfe&s refulting from the blaze of fcience, which, 
at the time of the Reformation, illumined Chrif- 
tendom: eifeds fortunate indeed when compared 
with that ignorance, torpor, and abafement which 
formerly opprefied it. The caftellated manfions of 
the nobility ceafed to difplay the (landards of re» 
bellion ; and the fovereign, in his turn, was con- 
ftrained to cultivate, in his ad minift ration, that 
liberality which accorded with the popular fenti- 
ment, and to confult the wants and wifhes of his 
fobjeds in preference to his own caprice and felfifll 
ioterefts. It is this conflid, and the glorious refult 
of it, that conftitute a fubjed of refearch, which caa 
repay the labours of the phtlofophic inquirer. 

The poh'tical events under the dynafty of the 
Stuarts appeared to Mr. Hume to form the asra 
moft worthy of the exertion of his talents ; and 
as he flattered himfelf with a belief of his own im- 



partiality, he fancied that he was deftined to free 
that portion of our hi (lory from the mifreprefenta* 
tions of party. This idea ftimulated his diligence, 
ajid great were his expeftations of fuccefs* De» 
voting himfelf wholly to the reclufe habits of 
a literary life, he laboured with unceafing perfe- 
verance until he had accomplifhed part of his un- 
dertaking ; and accordingly, in the month of 
Oftober 1754, the firfl: volume of his Hiftory of 
Great Britain, containing the reigns of James L 
and Charles L^ was publiflied at Edinburgh *• 

A more convenient opportunity to Inquire into 
the merits of this volume will hereafter occur : 
fuffice it, at prefent, to obferve, that the fanguine 
hopes, in which our author had indulged himfelf, 
were completely difappointed. The fale of the 
work was extremely dull, infomuch that he felt it 
neceflary to hold a confultation with his bookfeller, 
the late Mr. John Balfour of Edinburgh, as to 
what (hould be done to leflfen the load of expence 
he had incurred. The indefatigable Andrew 
Millar was then taking the lead as a bookfeiler in 
London, and his name and extenfive correfpond- 
ence with the country dealers were fufficient to 
buoy up, in fome degree, the chara6ter of a book; 
and facilitate its circulation. Mr. Balfour urged the 
neceffity of obtaining the aid of Millar, in order to 
pu(h the work into notice; and this advice was 
prudently followed. 

* Jn 4to. price 149. boards. 



Another incident had lately occurred, which 
not a little chagrined our author. The profeffor- 
Ihip of Moral Philofophy, in the univerfity of 
Edinburgh, having become vacant by the death of 
Mr. William Gleghorn, Mr. Hume appeared as a 
candidate for the chair, which is in the gift of the 
town-council. But the interefl: of his friends 
proved unfuccefsful : his philofophical opinions 
were mifreprefented, his charader was traduced, 
and fo great an outcry raifed by the religious 
zealots as to endanger his perfonal fafety. , The 
clergy were particularly adive on this occafion, 
fome of whom reprefented Mr. Hume's principles 
to be thofe of an atheifl, while others charitably 
branded them as the dogmas of deifni. Their 
remonftrances fucceeded ; but the event gave rife 
to a rooted antipathy on the part of Hume tov«rards 
the Scottifh clergy, although at this time he lived, 
and continued afterwards to live, in the flriflefl: 
intimacy, and moft cordial friend/hip, with Blair, 
Wallace, Dryfdale, Wiftiart, Jardine, Home, 
Robertfon, Carlyfle, and a few others. 

The eleftion took place on the 28 th of Auguft, 
and the office >^as conferred on Mr. James Balfour 
of Pilrig, advocate and flieriif depute of the county 
of Edinburgh. Mr. Balfour was the author of the 
Delineation of the Nature and Obligations of Mo- 
rality, written in oppofition to Mr. Hume's Enquiry 
concerning the Principles of Morals ; and from this 
pious fpecimen of his erudition^ it mud be ac- 

£ knowledged, 


knowledged, that he was a fafer man than our hif- 
torian, in the chair of Moral Philofophy. The 
Delineation is a work not deftitute of found argu* 
ment, though Its prolixity is tirefome ; and as 
Mr. Balfour attacked propofitions in the Enquiry, 
which were unfounded in £aiir reafoning, and ex-* 
ceptionable in point of morality, he had, in every 
way, the better of Hume in the difpute. From 
the obfervations on the phiiofophical and ethical 
writings of the latter, inferted in the concluding 
part of this biography, the reader, who bears in his 
recoUeftion that Hume's reputation refted as yet 
on thefe only, will, perhaps, join with us in think- 
ing that the univerfity was no lofer by the iffue of 
the conteft. 

Confirmed as was Mr. Hume's philofophic habit 
of bearing up againft difappointment, a kind of 
defpondency began, at this time, to ruffle the ufual 
ferenity of his mind. He himfelf tells us, that he 
was prevented only by the war, which had broken 
out between Great Britain and France, from retiring 
to fome provincial town in the latter kingdom, 
where he might, under a borrowed name, fpend 
his days at a diftance from his native country* 
This fcheme of a folitary retreat was, however, no 
longer prafticable ; and as he had made confider- 
able progrefs with the fecond volume of his Hiftory, 
and been invited by fome perfons of refpedfatbility, 
iimong whom he enumerates, with jufl fatis£st£tion. 
Dr. Herring, archl»fhop of Canterbury, and Dr. 


OF bAVID HtTAfE) £S<i» 5i 

Stone, the primate of Ireland, to proceed in com* 
pleting his work, he plucked up courage, and re^ 
folved to perfevere. 

As our author acknowledges, and had feriou3 
reafons to regret, the cold negleft and languid fale 
which his Hiftory met with, one is rather furprifed 
to find him employing, in the narrative of his Own 
Life, a language calculated to deceive us into an 
opinion, that his performance burft on the world 
vnth uncommon attrafkion, and that it was the 
general and fole topic of public difcuflion. Speak* 
ing of theapplaufe, which he expected from his 
hiftorical labours, he adds — ^^ but miferable was 
my difappointment : I was aflailed by one Cry of 
reproach, difapprobation, and even deteftation. 
Engli(h, Scotch, and Irifli, whig and tory, church- 
man and feflary, free-thinker and religionift, 
^ patriot and courtier, united in their rage againft 
^ the man who had prefumed to (hed a generous 
^ tear for the fate of Charles L and the Earl of 
^ Strafford ; and after the firft ebullitions of their 
^ fury were over, what was ftill more mortifying, 
** the book feemed to fink into oblivion/* 

Janfenifm and the Bull Unigenitus did not excite 
a greater flame, than the awful defcription, given in 
the preceding quotation, might lead us to infer to 
have been produced by the firfl volume of his 
Hiilory^ Yet it is not eafy to conceive, how a 
work could engage univerfal notice, and meet with 
fuch ardent aad general reprehenlion, without being 

£ a iji 


in the hands of every one. Mr. Hume, however, 
difclofes a fecret fatal to the warm reprefentation^ 
^ which he has given of the tremendous tempeft he 

had raifed ; for in the very next fentence he tells 
Us, that Millar fold only forty-five copies of it in a 

In the mean time a ftorm of a more alarming 
tendency threatened the fpiritual and temporal in- 
terefts of our biftorlan. It is in vain to conceal^ 
that deifm, or a religious creed approximating to it, 
had begun to fpread among the literary circles at 
Edinburgh ; and Lord Karnes and Mr. Hume, 
being the only perfons who had ventured to com- 
mit their philofophical tenets to writing, were con- 
fidered as the grand apoftles of infidelity. What 
rendered this more dangerous in the opinion of the 
puritanical party was, that both thefe authors were 
men of great amenity of manners ; and not only 
was their acquaintance valued and fought by moft 
of the eminent characters in their neighbourhood, 
but they lived in habits of the flridefl intimacy 
with the more refpedable clergymen of the 

The rigid notions of Calvin and John Knox were 
not yet in difrepute, and the prevalence of fcience 
had not altogether effaced the ancient intolerant 
fpirit of the clerical profeflion. In the General 
Affembly, which is the fupreme ecclefiaflical judi- 
cature of the Scottifh church, two great parties 
had long fubfifted, the one profeiHng mpre liberal 



and moderate principles than the other. The 
zealots, in the warmth of oppofition, aflfeded to take 
great offence at many of their opponents for culti- 
vating the friendfhip of Karnes and Hume, in 
whofe writings they now began to difcover the mod 
noxious doftrines ; and finally refolved, by at- 
tacking thefe, to expofe their enemies to popular 
obloquy, if not to defeat. 

In taking this ftep they were encouraged by an 
event, which had lately happened in England ^ 
Towards the end of the year 1754, the learned 
world beheld with aftonifbment, indignation, and 
difmay, the prefentment of Lord Bolingbroke's 
philofophical works, and of David Mallet, their 
editor, by the Grand Jury of Middlefcx. The 
fingularity of this precious relic of intolerance will 
apologize for its infertion here ; after which will be 
related the powerful attempt made by the puritans 
in Scotland to imitate, in reference to Mr. Hum^ 
and Lord Kames, the difgraceful condud of th^ 
bigh-church facUon in England. 

The prefentment was as follows : \* We ^he 
grand jurors of the liberty of the Dean and Chap- 
ter of the collegiate church of St. Peter, Weft- 
minfter, the city, borough, and town of Weft- 
minfter, &c. being impannelled and fworn at this 
prefent general quarter-feffions of the peace, held 
at the town-court houfe near Weftminfter-hall, on 
Wedncfday the i6th day of Oftobcr, before Thomas^ 

E 3 * Lediard 


Lediard EFq. chairman, &c. and alfo to hear and 
determine divers felonies, trefpafles, and other 
niifdeeds done and committed within the faid 
liberty: Being fenfible that every infult upon the 
religion is a violation of the laws of our country ; 
and that though the liberty of the prefs is the dif- 
linguifhed charafter of Britifli freedom, yet it 
becomes a nuifance when it is employed in propa? 
gating licentioufnefs of principles : Having within 
our own breafts the cleareft conviftion, that the 
credibility of all evidence in our courts of juftice 
depends upon the belief of the truths of Chriftir 
imity and a future (late; and that every attempt 
(whether made by writing, or by debating in 
publick aflemblies, which are equally impious as 
they are illegal) to unfettle that belief in the minds 
of the p^ple, tends to fubvert every principle of 
regulated government and of civil fociety ; 
Alarmed likewife, as we arc, by the prevailing 
degeneracy of morals, which is encouraged, nay 
defended from the prefs ; and convinced that the 
more celebrated the name of an author is, the 
more extenfive is the mifchief which his writings 
may effeft, when employed to the purpofes of 
irreligion : we are defirous to give this teftimony of 
pur abhorrence of an infult upon the majefty of 
God, in a country where the majefty of the King 
is held fo defervedly facred* We are fenfible that 
liberty is never fo much endangered as when it is 
abufed ; and that whatever private opinions any 
fnan may entertain, fuch opinions ought not to be 


carried into an open contempt and avov^ed irtfringe- 
ment of the eftabliflied religion, that is, the efta- 
bliflied laws of his country. 

" Moved by thefe and many other coniiderations, 
while we cenfure the indecency, we aflfert the dig- 
nity, of the prefs ; and by curbing its licenfioufnefs, 
we vindicate its liberty. . Nor can we difcharge our 
confciences of the high truft repofed in us, with- 
out prefenting to the cenfure of this court, for the 
fake of prevention as yittll as example, and we 
hereby do humbly prefent, a book publiChed in this 
city and liberty, entitled. The Pbilofopbical Works 
of the late Right Honourable Henry St. John^ Lord 
Vifcount Bolingbroke^ in five volumes ; tentoig, by 
the genei^l fcope of feveral pieces therein contained, 
as well as many particular expreffions which have 
been laid before us, to the fubverfion of religion, 
government, and morality, and being againft his 
Majefly's peace. And we do farther prefent David 
Mallet £fq. as the editor, and Dr. Morris of 
Stable-yard, Rider-ftreet, Weftminfter, as pub- 
liflier of the faid book." 

The proceedings againft our two Scottifh au- 
thors were carried on in the church judicatories. 
The General Affembly having convened at Edin- 
burgh on the 2 ad of May, 1755, under the pre- 
fidency of Lord Cathcart as his Majefty's com- 
miffioner, and of the Rev. Mr. George Reid, 
minifter of St. Quivox^ as moderator, a pamphlet, 
the author of which is Unknown, appeared on the 

E 4 followjjig 


following day, and was circulated with much in-^ 
duftry. It was intiiled, j4n Analyfts of the Moral 
and Religious Sentiments contained in the Writings of 
SoPHO and David Hume Efq. addreffcd to the 
Conjideration of the Reverend and Honourable Me/if» 
bers of the General Affembly of the Church &f 
Scotland. Sopho was the ii£titious name, under 
which Lord Karnes had publiflied his obnoxious 

On the 28th of May the proper committee tranf- 
mitted the following motion, or, as it is ftyled in 
the ecclefiaftical courts of Scotland, overture, 
which was, on the fame day, unanimoufly paiTed 
into an aft. — " The General Affembly of the 
church of Scotland being filled with the deepeft 
concern on account of the prevalence of infide- 
lity and immorality, the principles whereof have 
^* been, to the difgrace of our age and nation, fo 
** openly avowed in feveral books publiihed of late 
** in this country, and which are but too well 
*' known amongft us ; do therefore judge it pro- 
** per and neceflary for them, at this time, to ex- 
*' prefs the utmoft abhorrence of thofe impious 
^* and infidel principles, which are fubverfive of 
•'•all religion, natural and revealed, and hav^ 
** fuch pernicious influence on life and morals ; 
** and they do earneftly recommend it to all the 
^* minifters of this church, to exercife the vigilance, 
** and to exert the zeal, which becomes their cha- 
•* rafter, to prcferve thofe under their charge from 
ff the contagion of tbefe abominable tenets, and to 

" ftir 



•' ftlr up in them a felicitous concern to guard 
*' againft them, and againft the influence of ihofe 
" who are infeded with them." 

The ufual Ihortnefs of the feffion prevented the 
Aflembly from taking any farther notice of the 
matter, which was accordingly poftponed to their 
next meeting. An affair of fuperior magnitude 
had engroffed the deliberations of that venerable 
body ; for at this time the Scottifli church was 
thrown into a general ferment by an attempt to 
introduce the reformed mufic. In accomplifliing 
this, the mod indecent fcenes were exhibited. It 
was not uncommon for a congregation to divide 
themfelves into two parties, one of which, iti 
chaunting the pfalms, followed the old, ^nd the 
other the new mode of mufical execution ; while 
the infidel, who was not in the habit of frequent- 
ing the temple, now reforied to it, not for the 
laudable purpofe of repentance and edification, but 
from the ungodly motive of being a fpedator of the 

Among the Scotch prefbyterians it was an an- 
cient pradice to join in pfalmody, while they were 
bufy at their occupations. This devotional fub- 
ftitution of facred for profane finging was reckoned 
produftive of many beneficial effeds. The minds 
of the fincere were prevented from ftraying to un- 
hallowed fubjeds ; their irregular inclinations were 
yeprtffed j their piety was confirmed ; and, by the 



daily exercife of their mufical talents, they were 
enabled to fing on Sundays with greater energy and 

During the prefent difpute, it was cultomary for 
the panizans of the different kinds of mufic to 
convene a-part, in numerous b6die!» for the purpofe 
of prafUfmg, and to mufter their whole ftrength 
on the labbath. The moment the pfalm was read 
from the pulpit, each fide, in general chorus, com- 
menced their operations ; and as the paftor and 
clerk, or precentor, often differed in their fenti- 
ments, the church was immediately in an uproar. 
Stows and bruifes were interchanged by the ira- 
paffioned fongflers, and. In many parts of the 
country, the moft ferious difturbances took place. 
In Edinburgh the niagiflracy declared in lavour of 
the modem improvement, and appointed a com- 
mittee of minifters, among whom was the Rev. Mr. 
Hugh Blair, to concert the proper means for intro- 
ducing it. Ai the author of this work is not a 
gifted fon of Apollo, he is unable to decide isn the 
merits of fo momentous a quefUon ; and feeling no 
incUaation to be ioquifitive as to the iffue of the 
controverfy, he is uncertain which of the parties 
obtained the afcendancy, but inclines to believe 
that the ancients were difcomfited and filenced^ 

Four days after the Allembly fepanted, a pam- 
phlet was publifhed at Edinburgh, intiiled, Obfer' I 
vatiotis upon the Analyfu^ &c. It was intended afl I 


-% refutation of the reviewer's objedions, and al- 
though anonymous, was generally afcribed to the 
pen of Lord Karnes. In this ftate the affair re- 
mained until the next meeting of the Affembly, 
which took place in May 1^56, and previous to 
which Mr. George Anderfon, the literary chamh 
pion of the fanatics, publiihed a pamphlet, under 
the title of Infidelity a proper Objed of Cenfure. It 
is replete with religious dogmatifm, and conftantly 
appealing to the bible, the ufual refource of the 
• prieft in every difficulty. 

Upon the 27th of May, a difcuflion took place 
on the fubjed in the Committee of Overtures. 
After a few general obfervations upon the import- 
ance of a ftrift and regular difcipline to the purity 
of the Chriftian church, it was moved, that the 
Affembly (bould be defired to take notice of fome 
of the infidel writings publifhed of lat^ in this 
nation, and of their authors ; and in cafe it fhould 
be found difficult or improper to make this notice 
too general, it was propofed to confine the inquiry 
at prefent to one, viz. David Hume Efq. becaufe 
he had publicly avowed his writings, at lead, fome 
of the moft offenfive of them, by prefixing his 
name. This motion was feconded, and fome pa- 
ragraphs .of the Confeflion of Faith and Form of 
Proceft were read, afferting the propriety, and ap- 
poifllteg the toercife of difdpliae in fuch cafes. 
A fciig and warm debate enfued, for an account 
^^^^1^ l^'frhiph we are indebted chiefly to the Scots Maga- 



zine, a reputable mifcellany, and of good au« 
thority *. 

The party, who introduced the queflion, gave 
in a written overture of the following purport-^ 
*' The General Aflembly judging it their duty to 
do all in their power to check the growth and pro- 
gref$ of infidelity ; and confidering that as infidel 
writings have begun of late years to be publifhed in 
this nation, againd which they have hitherto only 
tcftificd in general, fo there is one perfon ftyling 
himfelf David Hume Efq. who hath arrived at 
fuch a degree of boldnefs as publicly to avow him- 
felf the author of books containing the mofl rude 
and open attacks upon the glorious gofpel of 
Chrift, and principles evidently fubverfive even of 
natural religion, and the foundations of morality, 
if not eftablifhing direft atheifm : therefore the 
Aflfembly appoint the following perfons « 

• • 

as a committee to inquire into the writings of this 
author, to call him before them, and prepare the 
matter for the next General AfTembly." 

To this motion a flrenuous eppofition was made, 
and various objections were raifed, all of which 
may be comprifed in the following articles : 

I. It was aflferted by theoppofers of the motion, 
that many members had not read the writings in 

♦ Vol. xviii, p. 287. ct fcq. 1756. 



queftion, and, confequently, could not be deemed 
competent judges of them. To this it was an- 
fwered, <hat the objeftion was the weakeft which 
could be devifed in the prefent cafe ; as no fentence 
was immediately craved, but merely an inquiry 
propofed. For fuch a purpofe a general fama of 
the pernicious tendency of the writings, and the 
information of thofe members who had perufed 
them, were, by the laws of the church, abundantly 

2. It was repeatedly maintained, that the inqui- 
(ition could ferve no good purpofe, and that it 
was not to be fuppofed, that profecution or cen- 
fure would convince Mr. Hume, or make him 
change his opinions, in which he feemed to be fo 
firmly rivetted. — ^The fupporters of the overture 
infifted, on the contrary, that it was a prefump- 
tuous limitation of Almighty power to affirm, that 
any man was incapable of being reclaimed ; and 
that difcipline, even carried the length of excom- 
munication, being one mean appointed in fcrip« 
ture for this purpofe, ought to be tried. Befides, 
reclaiming offenders, they obferved, was far from 
being the only, and, perhaps, was not even the 
chief end of the inflidion of difcipline ; which was^ 
doubtlefs, principally intended to preferve others 
from infedion, and deter them from offending. 

3. It was faid by fome, that it would be a tedi- 
ous and difEcult inquiry, and would lead to the 
difcuffion of many philofophical opinions. They 



reminded the committee of the many long and 
fierce debates, which had formerly agitated the 
Chriftan church, about fate, free-will, and the 
like ; fo that the affair, if entered upon, might 
lad for many years, and become, in a manner, the 
fole bufmefs of the Aflembly. In anfwer to thi$ 
it was denied, that there could be any difficulty or 
intricacy in afcertaining the p)emicious tendency of 
principles levelled againft the very foundations of 

4. It was alleged, that the writings of Mr. Hume 
contained opinions, which every man of common 
fenfe detefl:ed, and which were fo grofs, and fo 
evidently felfe, that they could not poflibly occa- 
fion any harm. It would, therefore, be doing 
them too much honour to take fuch public notice 
of them. — ^The friends of the motion endeavoured 
to ffiew, that this objedion was diametrically oppo« 
lite to the former. They obferved, that the grofs* 
neiTs and wickednefs of his affertions made it fo 
much the greater fcandal to permit fuch a perfon 
to wear the chriftian name ; and that, as human 
nature is exceedingly corrupt, forbearance, in th^ 
prefent inftance, might tempt many to think lightly 
of the chriftian charafter, when they faw it pro* 
(lituted, and left open to the poffeflion of thofe 
who were fo unworthy to bear it. 

5. It was maintained, that however wrong his 
opinions were, his writings were moftly of an atK 
ftraft and metaphyfical kind> unintelligible to the 

multitude ; 


multitude; and, therefore, as little danger could 
arife from them, liberty of judgment ought to be 
allowed. In fine, they were not proper objedls of 
cenfure, which ought rather to be applied to prac« 
tical errors, and cafes more immediately criminaL 
To this it was anfwered, that whatever metaphyfi'* 
cal turn Mr. Hume might have fhewn in fome of 
his writings, the paffages complained of were of 
the plained, as well as of the groflfeft kind« 
Liberty of judgment in doubtful matters was very 
neceffary in the prefent flate of human nature ; but 
it was ftrange, that any one could not fee the ab- 
furdity of fuppofmg, that a good thing cannot be 
fpoiled by excefs, or by being wrong applied. A 
man, it feems, might fay the mod immoral things, 
and even defend immorality ; yet if it be only 
called an opinion, it mud not be confidered as a 
crime. But why are vifible crimes an objed of 
cenfure or church difcipline? Is it not, becaufe 
they are a proper evidence of a wicked heart ? And 
is not an open profeflion of wickednefs of heart 
alfo an evidence of it ? Is an aft of whoredom or 
of theft cenfurable in a profefled chriftian ? — ^And k 
it not cenfurable to deride chaftity, rejed its obli^ 
gation, and affirm that all juftice is founded on 
power and conveniency? Thefe are not metaphy- 
fical or intricate opinions, but errors having the 
mod certain and immediate influence upon prac- 
tice. Formerly it was thought fufficient to fay, 
that forbearance was to be ufed in petty matters ; 
but that to overthrow the great dofbrines of mo- 
rality, by which ibciety fubfids, demanded pu- 

3 nilhment 


nifhment even by the civil power. Now, how- 
ever, they had lived to fee the grofleft immoralitjr 
taught, publifhcd, and defended, as freedom of 
inquiry. It was added, that if people would re« 
fled upon the nature of church difcipline, nothing 
could be more ridiculous than to confider it as 
any reftraint upon liberty. The objeft of it wag 
not to punifh men in their bodies, nor even to 
hinder them from publiihing their opinions; but 
only to prevent them from injurioufly pofTeffing 
that to which they have no right, viz. the chridian 

6. The opponents of the motion likewife ob- 
jefted, that it would highly gratify Mr. Hume 
himfelf, and promote the fale of the book. They 
related feveral anecdotes to fliew, how bookfellers 
had artfully folicited the authoritative condemnar 
tion of books, in order to get them ofF their hands. 
It was reprefented by fome as very dangerous to 
fpread fuch waitings in this manner, and bring 
them into the hands of common or country people, 
who would not otherwife have looked into them ; 
and the confequences of this were pointed out 
very ftrongly. To thefe arguments it was an- 
fwered, that it would not perhaps afford much 
pleafure to the gentleman, if the inquiry ihould 
terminate with his excommunication publicly in- 
timated, while his grofs affcrtions were dated to be 
the caufe of it : neither was this likely to give 
farther circulation to his writings among any bur 
thofe who were in the leait danger of infection. 



Some of the members infifted, that Mr. Humd 
tould, m ho refped, be deemed a chriftlan ; that 
he had 6penly and publicly thrown oflf the profef- 
fion of ft, and was therefore one of thoTe who^ 
in the language of fcripture, are wtthoutj and 
confequently not proper objeAs of chriftlan dif« 
online. « 

Many of the fupporters of the overture ob« 
ferved in general, that feveral of the arguments 
urged againft their propofal, contradided one 
another. Whilft fome^ (hey faid, pretended to 
foretefy that it would lead the Afiembly into fo 
long and intricate a debate as would be almoft 
endlefs ; othfrs affirmed^ that the writings were fo 
grofs and evidently falfe, that they could do little of 
Ao harm. It had alfo been maintained, they re* 
marked, that writings, thus repriefented as fo ab« 
drafted and metaphyfical, could have little con- 
nection with morals ; while fome altegi^d, that we 
ought to blsware of exciting curiofity, and fpreaci- 
faig a very dangerous poifon : — ^all of which afler« 
^ns could not be true, as ffiey were mutually 
deftru£tite of each other. 

Among other arguments th^ friends of tl^e over- 
ture ftrenuoully urged, that as they could produce 
not only the Confeiliori of Faith, and Form of 
Frocefs, but exprefs paflages of fcripture^ requir- 
ing, undet ftrong and awful fatiaScYis, the exeVcife 
of dkciplitte agdnft the maintaifters of falfe and 
pernicious opbidoflis, flotMng. cdnid be itidtt t^^k 

F ' than 


than to bring forward human conjeSares agadnft 
the expediency of it. They obferved, that the 
meaning and application of thefe pafTages had not 
been difputed by any who had fpoken on the point ; 
and they afked how the AfTembly, as an eccle* 
fiaflical court, could excufe themfelves for a direft 
refufal to comply with an exprefs command of 

In reply to thefe obfervations ; 

1. It was faid by one, with whom indeed none 
of the committee feemed inclined to concur, that 
the exercife of difcipline in a ftrid and yigorous 
manner might be a duty, when the church was 
pure and offenders few ; but would any man fay, 
that, when the church was greatly corrupted, and 
offenders very numerous, all, who deferved cenfure 
by the rules of the gofpel, ought to have that 
cenfure inflidted upon them ? If this were the cafe, 
it would reduce the church to a very fmall num« 
ber. In animadverting upon thefe obfervations, 
fome of the friends of the motion affirmed, that 
they had followed, and would follow, no other 
rules of cenfure but thofe contained in the gofpel ; 
and that however great a reduftion this might 
caufe in the number of the church, no greater 
number had any title to be ia it. 

2. It was faid, that difcipline was not of the 
nature of duties, which were always binding in- 
dependently of their confequences } but was a 


OP DAVlb HtJME, ^8(J. 6/ 

duty or hot according to its apparctit expediency. — 
In oppofition to this, it was denied that any fuch 
licence was given in fcripture ; and it was main- 
tained, that, on the contrary, the univerfal and 
impartial application of it was its chief excellence^ 
and did mod contribute to render it fuccefsfuU 

3. It was urged ^ as in the lad objefUdh to the 
overture, that Mr. Hume was really no chriftian, 
had not fo much as the profeflion of it^ and/ 
therefore, was to be confidered as one who is 
without^ ^nd not a fubjedt of chridian difcipline* 
This was the objeftion chiefly infifted upon 5 and 
with a difcuflion of it, by mutual interrogations , 
the debate was clofed. The friends of the over- 
ture allowed) that one who was not in any fenfe^a 
member of the vifible church was no fubjeft of 
difcipline* But they obfervcd, ttiat whatever grofs 
crimes Mr. Hume had committed^ he had neither 
been formally excluded by a femence^ nor had 
excluded himfelf by any formal declaration ; that 
he had not renounced his baptifm ; that he fre- 
quently, in his writings, ranked himfelf among 
profei&ng chriftians, faying our holy religion^ &c. 
words which, however plainly they were in the 
^ay of contempt and deriflon, (hewed more forci- 
bly the necefTity of a vifible feparation. Prbfeff- 
ing chriftians held voluntary and unneceflfary 
communication with him ; and even miniflers were 
feen freely converfing with him, which it was pre- 
fumed they would not do, if be were formally 

Fa The 


The opponents of the inquiry rejoined, thar, 
though Mr, Hume had not faid in expreis words, 
that he was no chriikian, he had laid it as publicly 
and (brongly by other forms of expreflion ; that he 
was generally conGdered in this light; and that 
chriftians were fuppofed to frequent bis company in 
order to his reformation. Againft this it was ar^* 
gued by-'tlle other party, that they would be fatis- 
fied, if the court would fix it as their judgment 
Viat he was no cbriftian, and therefore no fubjeA 
of diicipIiDe, and give publicity to this determi- 
nation. They were then afked, whether they could 
in reafoa demand, that fuch a Sentence Ihould be 
jfiSkdf when the perfon had not been before them, 
nor any regular inquiry into his crime ? — ^Tp this 
l^y anfwered, that they did not demand it, and, 
therefore, had propofed an inquiry, but bad made - 
their former remarks in confequence of the reafon^ 
ing of their adveriaries ; and they retorted the 
qoeftion, how thefe could fo often ufe in their 
Kafaning, nay apparently form their own opinion 
Upon, and influence that of others by an argument, 
which they refufed to aflign publicly as the ground 
^ ttieir Sentence ? 

Here a member obferved, that he had not given 
it as his owa opinion, as perhaps he had not yet 
formed any upon the fub^ ; but that the pver- 
ture itfelf reprefented Mr. Hume as no -ehriftian, 
aad> therefore, ought not to be tnuifiRuaed, be« 
.caufe it proceeded upon a fuppofition, which reo^ 
d^d Its own d^nand unneceflary ; for the perfon 

7 g^ty 

W BAWIB HUME, EfiQ^, 69 

guHty of fuch things^ as vrett bid by k to the 
charge of Mn Hume, was certainly no chrifUati,-^ 
It was replied, that the ovterture in no other way 
reprefented him not to be a chriftian, than by 
laying he defierved to be excluded from that cbaf* 
ra&er. It complained, that he retained the chr% 
tian name, when he had forfeited all r^ht to it } 
whereas, according to the reaibning of die oppa» 
fite party, no perfon ever could be cenfured or em^ 
eluded by a fentence, for, as foon as he was guilty 
of any tiling deferving it, he is ftyled no chrUliani 
gnd confequently muft be left to himfislf. 

The debate was carried on with an eameftnefs 
and decency honourable to both parties, without 
any violent altercation or perfonal refle^on^ A 
niotion was made, that the committee (hould coma 
to a reiblution to the follow]^ cSc& : '^ That 
though all the members have a jult abhorrence pf 
any principles tending to infidelity, or to the pre- 
judice of our holy religion; ye^ on account of 
(:ertain circumftances in this cafi?, they drop the 
oyertnre^ bccaufe it would not, in th^r judgment^ 
ferve the purpofe of edification.** — ^f he queftion 
being put on the original. motion, Tran/mit th^ 
qveriure i<f the Affembly^ -^ not^'i^t paff^d in the 
negative by a great majority *. Xh? refqlution waa 
then agreed to without oppofition. 

From th^ tenor ^f th^ arg^ments employed in 
this difcyiTion, it is obvious that the in<}uuy teaa 

• Ij^nnluait, (7 1 not yanfini^, 50^ 

F^ got 


got rid of by the influence of friends, rather than 
by dint of rcafoning. With whatever indifference 
M^ Hume, as a philofopher, might regard the 
tnathemas of the ohurch ; yet, as a man of the 
world, and holding the office of librarian to the 
Faculty of i^dvocates, he mud have been fenfible 
of the propriety of quafhing any farther inquifir 
tion. Rames, it is true, had not been the often- 
fible obje£t of the motion ; but he was ftill mora 
ferioufly itnplicated in the iflfue. A fimilar profe* 
cutlon impended over him ; and as his language 
was bolder, and, in fa£t, confefledly hoftile to the 
^poftolic creed, he was in the mod alarming pre- 
dicament. If an iny^fligation had been permitted*^ 
it was imppflible to anticipate the confequences. 
Even an open debate in the Aflembly, by giving 
publicity to the affair, might have expofed him tq 
the obloquy of the zealots, and the malevolence 
of his enemies. Byt if the refult proved unfa* 
yourable to him, his feelings as a gentleman, in- 
dependently of the interpofition of the law, muft 
have fuggefted the immediate neceflity of refignmg 
his gown. As a father, and the head of a family^ 
he could not view church cenfure with apathy ; 
and it was difficult to fay, where th^ rancour of 
his adyerfaries might flop. "When armed whh a 
fentence of excommunication, they had it in their 
power to inftitute a criminal procefs againft him in 
the ordinary courts of judice. Similar meafures 
pf feverity had not unhequently been reforted tq 
in England, where Woolfton had not only been 
fxalte4 \o the pillory, but bore on his perfon 



manifeft evidence of the humane and tolerant fpirit 
of a national clergy. 

Mr. Hume and Lord Karnes Vere not the only 
perfons interefted in this tranfaftion. Several mi- 
nifters, members of the Affembly, and the inti- 
mate and daily acquaintances of thefe literary cha- 
rafters, felt the prudence of impofing the veil of 
oblivion on the matter, and ftrenuoufly exerted 
themfelves for that purpofe. The refolution of the 
committee liberated our author from his uneafinefs ; 
but the puritanical party were not yet filenced, 
and a new plan of operation was devifed. 

In July or Auguft 1756, about two months 
after the difcuilion in the committee, the redoubted 
Mr. George Anderfon, inrho was formerly men- 
doned as the author of a pamphlet againft Lord 
Karnes's Eflfays, prefented a petition and complaint 
to the prelbytery of Edinburgh, not againft Mr. 
Hume, nor againft Kames, but againft the book- 
fellers and printer of his Lordfhip's tradt. In this 
application it was ftated, that Mr. Robert Fleming 
had printed, for Meflrs. Alexander Kincaid and 
Alexander Donaldfon, a book intitled EJfays on 
the Principles of Morality and, -Jiaiural Religion^ 
wherein, among other things, the author main- 
tained, that God deceives mankind with a falla- 
cious fenfe of liberty ; and that, becaufe man is not 
really but delufively a free agent, he cannot fin 
againft him, " Though thefe tenets,*' obferved the 

F 4 Petitioner, 


Petitioner, ^' are inconfifteot with the princqples of 
natural religion^morality, and the chrUtian revelation» 
neverthelefs the faid Aleipnder SLincaid and Alex- 
ander Donaldfon |Ud and do continue to publifh 
jmd vend the Dud book, to the great fcandal and 
p£fence of all who believe, that God is hol]r» an4 
that the; gofpel is his word qf truth. The Peti- 
tioner, therefore, in his own name, and in the name 
^f all who adhered, or (hall adhere, p^ySf that 
the faid i>qnter and bookfellers may be fummoned tfx 
the next meeting of the Prefbytery, and there and 
then to declare and give up the author of the faid 
book; and that he and they may be cenfured^ 
according to the law of the gofpiel) and the prac« 
tice of this ai^ all other well governed churches/' 

A lift of paflages i^om the £flay$ yras annexed^ 
in fuppc^rt of tbefe ailertions. 

The petition being ferved on the defendants h^ 
^ order of the Pre(bytery^ anfwers, figned by 
two eminent advocates (Mr. James Fergufon, after!* 
wards a lord of feipon, and Mr., now Sir, Johi^ 
Dalrymple) were given in to thefe charges: this 
paper was probablj the production of Karnes* At 
the controverfy is /l|irious, and forms an intereft- 
ipg epiibde in the Hfe of Mr. Hume, we have ven- 
tured to make a more liberal quotation from the 
anfwers, than fpecial pleadings commonly deferve, 
which are feldom remarkable either for the clofe- 
nefs of their rcafoning, or the elegance of their 

« When 


^^ When books/^ &id the refpoAdoittt ^^ are 
publiflied with an iatentioa to attack either natural 
QT revealed religioi^ they juftly give difquiet to allt 
well-difpoied perfons. But it •Huft be obvious to 
every one who looks intp this book* that the fole 
intent and purview of it was to improve the feiv- 
timents pf natural rd^giofi and morality, and to 
enforce them by fuch motives, add arguments as. 
appeared to the author to carry the ftrongeft con^ 
virion. It is well known that this was the au- 
thor's defign in the publication ; and that he had 
it particularly in view to mftite certain Coeptical 
q>ixuo^$, which appeared to him prqudidal to the 
caufe of natural religion and virtue. When fuch 
u the p|t]i^ei&d and ofily intent of a book, it de» 
ferves a fiair conftru£tion« The mmds of men are 
fo formed, that in all {diilofophicai dtfquifiticoa, 
efpecially thofe of the niceft kind, it will often 
happen, that thofe who have the fiune common 
end in view, will differ upon the reafonifigs and 
dedu&ions that lead to it. To fome one argument 
will appear more ftrong and forcible, to others 
another^ and it will alfo fometimes happen, Aat 
a chain of reafoning, which appears to one very 
ilrong for demonftrating the foundeft principles, 
may appear to another to have^iHi ernmeoiis tend** 
ency in other refpeds, which is dot perceived by 
the author, otherwife he would moft heartily ^ 
claim it« 

^' It muft be very apparent to the reverend 
Frefbytery, that nothing can be more un£nr than. 



to impute to an author, who is inveftigating truth 
by fuch dedudioiis as appear to him mofl: probable, 
confbquences arifing from his arguments which he 
bimfelf entirely difclaims. If this be allowed, the 
liberty of reafoning, and all the valuable confe- 
quences refulting from it, are at an end. And 
this is truly the only pretence or handle for the 
prefent complaint. The complainer imagines, 
that he has difcovered certain paffages in the book, 
that reprefent the Creator in a difrefpeftful view, 
or deny the pofBbility of fm in man. Nothing 
can be more manifeft than that the general tendency 
of th6 book is dire&ly oppofite to thefe inferences. 
It is obvious, that the anxious aim of the author, 
throughout the whole, is to demonftrate the exift- 
ence and ever*adorable perfedions of the deity, 
and to inculcate the love of virtue, and regard to 
the authority of confcience, the law written on our 
hearts, whereby iall iinful and corrupt a0e£tions 
may be deftroyed, 

[In proof that fuch is the author's aim, feveral 

pafiages of the book are quoted. ] 


*' The refpondentS'wiU not trouble the reverend 
Preibytery with entering into a detail of the feveral 
paflages referred to in the paper fubjoined to the 
complaint. ■ There are few books written upon 
fubjeds of this kind ; but it is very poi&ble, by 
culling out broken fentences from the midft of 
paragraphs, and drawing remote inferences from 
them, to make the author appear to maintain 

3 opinions 


©pinions that never entered into his thought. 
Such are the arts which have been ufed in this 
cafe ; and the refpondents do not know, whether 
even the complainer's own writSigs would be able 
to (land an inquifition of this kind. Whatever 
good intention he may have had in publifliing his 
thoughts on thefe matters to the world, yet it is 
not eafy to guard every expreflion with fo much 
caution, that inferences may not be drawn, which 
may be liable to objedion. If this fliould happen 
to be the cafe, the complainer would think |t hard 
ufage, if either he himfelf, or his printers or book- 
fellers, were brought to the bar of an ecclefiaftical 
court as criminals upon a charge founded oh ho 
better ground than critical wire-drawn inferences 
from detached fentences in his writings. It is 
evident, that this is not the fair way of treating bur 
author, to fix upon him, by remote inferences, 
opinions contrary to his declared fentiments in 
other parts of the book. The refpondents believe, 
that many of the paflfages againft which the com- 
plainer moil loudly exclaims, are to be met with 
in the writings of the moft orthodox divines, who 
are juftly held in veneration by- this and other re- 
formed churches. This is what will be much bet- 
ter known to the reverend Prefl^ery, than to the 
refpondents, who do not pretend to be much ver- 
fant in^ the many learned bodks that have been writ* 
ten upon thefe fubjeSs. But without entering into 
fuch difquifition, they are advifed, that there is no 
^lour for profecuting an author^ ftill lefs a pripter 



or bookfeller, upon fuch pretences as are fuggeftied 

*^ If it were not lawful for a bookfeller to ad- 
mit into his (hop, or difpofe of any book until he 
had emnined it according to the flrid: rules of 
orthodoxy, and found that there was not a fetv- 
tence in it that could not be fupported by the con- 
curring fentiments of fome approved author, it is 
plain this would be equal to an injundion to every 
bookfeller to fliut up his (hop. It is an inquiry he is 
neither in capacity,nor by any means boi^nd to makct. 


^^ It is involved in the conftitudon of every coun- 
try, which is fo happy as to be poflefied of its libevty, 
that freedom of inquiry and reafoning is allowed^ 
and fubjeft to no punifliment when it is carried on 
with decency* Were fuch co^iplaints as this to 
take place, no man could lafely print or fell a 
book upon any religious fubjed, as he would be 
liable to (land a trial on every unguarded word that 
could be poffibly mifconftrued to an erroneoul 
meaning ; and eveiy difquifition apd inquiry intQr' 
matters pf this kind would be excluded until 
licenlied by perfons autborifed for that purpofe. 
And upon the fame ground, all reafonings cour 
ceming the adminiftration of a^Tairs that relate to 
the intereft of the country, would alfo be excluded, 
until authorized by the civil power. So an uni- 
verfal reftra'mt would be laid upon the liberty of 
the prds, in the only pointy where it is of import- 

OF DAVID HUME, £8^ 77 

ance to be free; than vhich tiiere cannot be a 
Airer badge of approachmg flavery in any country. 
Such reftraints have not been known in this ifland 
fince the time of the revolution. The fpirit of 
liberty which then (hone forth, and flitl continues^ 
abfolutely excludes it. Books are puUiihed every 
day relating to public a&irs without cenfure or 
puniflunent, even where decency is not ftriOIy 
obferved. And in matters ol fpecuhtion it is ftitl 
more neceflfary, that the freedom of ini|uiry fhould 
be allowed, as it is the only means for inveftigating 
truth and corre£ling errors. It is the means by 
which this ifland and many other nations were 
ha^ly refcued from the tyranny that formerly 
predominated, and whereby even the mmd^ c^ 
men were enflaved ; and, therefore, in afl prow 
teftant countries, this liberty has been confidered 
as the moft valuable prefervative and fecdrity againft 
inch flavery for the future. There is no reafon to 
apprehend, that it will give rife to error; for 
when liberty of reafoning is allowed on all fkhs», 
it is not to be doubted, that troth, by its own in^ 
trinflc energy and force, will flill prevail. 

*^ It was upon thefe ^nciples, that when s 
motion was made in the committee of 6 v a p t tair»^ 
named by the General Afiembly of this church 
in May laft, to make an iofuSry mto ihme otfter 
writings, which were thought to be ejKrepttonaible, 
it was rqeded by a great ms^orky ;^ and the moft 
zealous members declared the^ opinion^ d»t there 



was no place for any fuch inquiry as to the book ui 
queftion. It cannot make any diflference, that the 
complainer has now thought fit to fubfcribe and 
give in a complaint to the Prelbytery^ It is not 
in the power of a private party in any well-* 
governed country, to force a profecution on pre* 
fence of a public offence, in any cafe where it 
appears to be inexpedient and improper* In the 
ordinary criminal courts, this is fufficiently guarded 
againft by the privilege of the lawyers intruded by 
the crown, or the procurators-fifcal of the court, 
whofe concurrence is requifite in all thofe procefles, 
and who daily rejedt them when they are attempted 
without fufficient caufe. In eccleliaftic cotlrtt 
there is no fuch office; but then the court itfelf 
is, in that refped, guardian of the quiet and tran- 
quillity of the lieges, and intitled to prevent its 
being difturbed, either by the violence, malice, or 
other finifter view or mifapprehenfion of any pri^ 
vate complainer, when they fee, from the circum* 
(lances of the cafe, that it cannot anfwer any good 
purpofe, but quite the contrary. It is not doubted 
but the reverend Prefbytery will be of the fame 
opinion with the committee of the venerable 
Aflembly upon this point, and will difmifs this 
groundlels and unprecedented complaint." 

In the month of Odlober, Mr. Anderfon pub- 
Ilfhed his Remonjirance againft Lord Vifcount Bih 
lingbrok^s fbUofapbical Religion j addreffed to David 
Mallet Efq. the Publijher ; and in the fame month 




he printed and pubUflied The Complaint made to the 
Prejbytery of Edinburgh verijiid. On the 19th 
December following, this fincere, but weak and 
fiery clergyman expired at Edinburgh in the 8oth 
year of his age ; and ten days afterwards the next 
meeting of the Prefby tery was held, when the 
counfel for the - defendants, waving any defence 
which might be pleaded from the want of aprofecu- 
tor, confented of their own accord, that the 
Prefbytery fhould give judgment upon the merits 
of the cafe. Previous to this meeting a pamphlet 
had been publiflied, which was profefT^dly an apo- 
logy for the author of the EfTays. It was intitled^ 
Objedions againji the EJfays on Morality and Natural 
Religion examined ; and was known to be the 
fecond produ^on of Kames's pen on this fubjed* 

The Prefbytery refumed the confideration of 
the queftion upon the 26th of January, 1757, 
when Mr. Dairy mple, one of the counfel, for the 
defendants, produced in court his Lprdflup's pam- 
phlet. Copies of it had been fent. to the members 
immediately on its publication ; and Mr. Dalrym- 
ple defired the court .to confider it, as a further 
defence, being authorized to aflure thenir that, it 
was written by the author of the Effays. 

The members entertwung a dlverfity of opinions 
on the fubjed, a fliort. debate occurred. Some 
held the anfwers to the charge to be fu^dently 
Iktisfaftory, and warranting the Prefbytery to dif* 
mils the proceis. 'They^ therefore, propofed the 


io LtfE Attl) WRITINGS 

fofkfmng refolution or fentence ;— ^^ That though 
^ there are fome rery unguarded ezpreffions m the 
*^ book, and fome paflages which cannot be juC- 
^^ tified, and may have a bad tendency, which 
^^ may have given ofience to many fincere good 
^* people, and have been the foundation of this 
^^ procefs ; yet as it appears, that the author, m 
^^ feveral parts of the book, hat declared his re- 
«< gard to the principles of religbn, and that in 
^ the forefaid pamphlet, which they were afliired 
^* was wrote by the author, he has diiavowed and 
^ difclaimed all thofe bad confequences which 
^^ were apprehended arofe from the reafonings in 
^* the book ; that, upon all tbefc confiderations, 
«< and to prevent their entering further into fo 
^^ abftrufe and metaphyfical a difpute, they judge, 
^^ upon the whole, that it is more for the purpofet 
*^ of e^ficafion to difmifs this procefs.'' 

It was mamtained by thofe who objefted to this 
refolution, that the anfwers were not fatisfadory as 
to feveral parts of the charge. In particular, zU 
tboi^ the author fays, that virtue has foundations 
in^fependent of dehifive feelings, he feemed to 
them to reft' virtue, in fo fiir aS'it implies, or (lands 
conneded witfi moral obligation, accountablenefs, 
merit, reward, &c« wholly upon thefo feelings*. 
They propc^ed, thefeferti ^^i^a committee fltould 
be appointed to compare the book with the charge, 
and alfo with the ptmpMet, and bting in an 

* See Efiqr^ fp» ^99^ so$r SOT9 tab Mbcdk^ 



overture upon the whole to the next meeting of 

It was then moved. Approve of the above over^ 
turefor difmlffing the procefsy or appoint a committee, 
when it was carried approve. The Prefbytery accord- 
ingly diTmifled the procefs; and thus our two 
authors efcaped from the difagreeable and perhaps 
dangerous coiifequences of a clerical inquifition* 
The performance and publication of the tragedy of 
Douglas began to engrofs the ecclefiaftical judica- 
tures, and gave rife to proceedings on their part, 
which have impofed an eternal ftigma on the Scot* 
tifh church. 

During thefe tranfaflions Mr. Hume was em- 
played in compiling the fecond volume of his 
Hiftory, which was publiflied at London by Millar 
in November 1756 *. It contained the hiftory of 
the commonwealth, and of the reigns of Charles 
IL and James IL As the two volumes comprifed 
the whole extent of the author's profeifed plan, 
they made by themfelves a complete work j a cir- 
cumftance highly £sivourable' to the fale of every 
literary performance. A narrative, publiflied ib' 
parts at diftant- periods, g'enerally experienced a 
dull circulation, and is always reckoned a hazard* 
ous adventure. Mr. Hume's book began to rife 
flowly into requefl: ; and to promote this, befides 
its own intrinfic qualities, the late difcuflions' in the 

♦ Price I4». boardr. 

• G ^ckfif 


ccdeiiaftical courts coDtributed not: a litde. Such 
vr2S to our author the fortunate confequence arifing 
from the perfecution, to which he had been 

In Jannarj 1 756, the Rev. Mr. Daniel M'Queen^ 
one of the minifters of Edinburgh, publUhed tbere» 
but without his name. Letters en Mr. Humis 
Kfiory of Great Britain* They are principallj 
levelled againft two paflages, in which our hiftoriaa 
contrails the catholic with the proteftant rehgioiu 
Theie offenfive paflages Hume afterwards ex* 
punged ; but he retamed the political paragraphs, 
attacked by the Doftor. The Letters are fuiBdently 
learned, and ibew great extent of reading, but fa** 
Tour too much of the irfiining piety of a cleric, 
and, with refpe£l to manner and ftyle, are intole- 
rably prolix and diffufe. 

While Mr. Hume was employed in his laborious 
hiftorical undertaking, his coumryman Smollet had 
conceived a fimikr defign, and been engaged by 
an aflbciation of London bookfellers to accomplifh 
!t. So eminent a veteran in the ingenious fcience 
of book-making, feconded by the ponderous in« 
fluence of a number of men already mailers of 
the avenues of literature, threatened with defisat 
every other candidate, who could not repofe on 
the like fupport. In the iliort period of fourteen 
months this indefatigable writer compiled three 
quarto volumes of his Complete Hi/lory of England^ 


OF DAVID HUME, 1S<1« 4j 

^hich were publiflied In Aprit 9fS7* ^ fpurib 
volume appeared in December that year, and 
brought down the narrative to the peace of Aix-Ia- 
Chapellein 1748. The work was thenpubSAed 
in odavOy and circulated in numbers : a fbsdad 
and a third edition were foon cscbaufted, and had 
a very difagreeable e&d on the fak of Mr. Hutne's 
performance. , 

From the more ferious purfuits of Hume, we 
tnay defcend to his fefljve habits* We havd to 
regret our unfucoefsfbl inquiries as to the cobd^ 
mencement of a literary fixiety, which bore the 
illuftrious title of the Poker Clukf and wlach was 
inftituted by the prefent Dr. Adam Fei^fon ; but 
its formation was previous to that of the SdeA 
Society to be afterwards noticed. It met oil 
Tuefdays and Fridays during fenr of five years, 
at a houfe, called the Diverforium, m the vicinity 
0f the Netherbow of Edlnftmrgb ; and although it 
is here dignified with the cbara£ker of a literary 
fociety, the reader will not, we hope, conceive 
an unfavourable opiMon of it, when he learns, 
that the fole objeft of the members was convivi- 
ality. Claret was then fold at eighteen pence per 
bottle ; and the club might have enjoyed a long^ 
exiftence, if it had not beeii irrecbterably ruined 
by a rife in the price of its favourite beverage. 
Economy was its firft and great law ; and we can- 
not fufpeft its fobriety, fince, belides Hume and 
ieveral teamed laymen, Robertfon, John Home, 

G ^ Carlylle, 


Carlyfle, and inmiy other clergymen^ were zmong 
its members. 

The Poker Club was fucceeded, in 1756, by the 
SdeSt Society, which attained great celebrity ; but 
to avoid confiifion in the hiftory of this erudite 
aflemblage, and fimilar contemporary eftabliib- 
ments, it will be neceflary to give a chronological 
narrative of their origin and progrefs. 

The firft literary aflbdation in £diid>urgh was 
the Rankejuan Clubj inflituted in 1 7 1 7, and fo de- 
nominated from .the mafler of the tavern where it 
held its meetings. This club was compofed of 
fome young gentlemen of very promifing talents, 
and numbered among its members the celebrated 
Colin Maclaurin, afterwards profefTor of mathe- 
matics at Edinburgh ; Dr. Wifbart, principal of 
the univerfity ; Dr. Young, author of a TreatUe 
-on Opium ; Sir Andrew IVIitchel, our ambailador 
at Berlin ; Lord Karnes, and many other eminent 
names. The circle of their inquiry was very extenfive, 
for it comprifed every department of literature. 

It is ftill held difputable, \ihether thefe inftitu- 
tions be conducive to the progrefs of knowledge ; 
but there can fcarcely exift a difference of opinion 
^ to the eligibility of convening a literary club in 
a tavern. Yet this fodety is reputed to have not 
.only infufed a liberality of fentiment into the minds 
of the individuals compofing it, but to have eflen- 



lially contributed to difleminate through their na« 
tive country a boldnefs and accuracy of reafoning, 
and a corre£biefs of tafte in compofition, mthout 
which fcience cannot be beneficially cultivated. 
The following anecdote refpeding this club is wor« 
thy of being preferved. 

In 17 lo, the famous Dr. Berkeley, bifhop of 
Cloyne, publiQied his Principles of Human Know^ 
kdgej and three years afterwards his Dialogues be^ 
tween Hylas and Philonous. Treatifes whofe objed 
was to difprove the exiftence of matter, and e(la-» 
blifh or rather revive the hypothefis that the entity 
of material objeds is folely in the mind, could not 
fail to attrad general notice, and provoke animad- 
veriion. The Rankenian Club entered with ardour 
ioto the controverfy ; and not content with can- 
vaffing the Berkeldan tenets in the mee^ngs of the 
iociety, adually engaged in an epiftolary corre- 
%K)ndence on the fubjed with that worthy prelate. 
The Dodor, with the paternal folicitude becoming 
a clergyman, and the politenefs of a man of letters, 
regularly tranfmitted his anfwers to the objefHons 
advanced by the club; and endeavoured to refute 
or evade the inconfiftent or irrational confequences 
Kfulting from his dodrines. 

In the courfe of this fri^dly difcuffion, the 
^iOiop imbibed fo favourable an idea of the acute- 
xiefs and erudition of the fociety, that he latterly 
offered to the members profefforihips in his projefted 
colU^fie in the Bermuda iflands ; but thefe gen* 

G 3 tlemen, 


tlemen, thinking bis proje£b Tifionary, and having 
more inviting profpe&s in life, declined to accept 
his propofal. Neverthelefs be ever afterwards 
{poke in terms of the higheft approbation of their 
ingenuity and abilities. 

Few men have rendered tbemfelves more ridi- 
culous than Berkeley by the vagaries of a lively 
imagination, and a credulous mind. Befides the 
eccentric dogmas of his philofophy, a knowledge 
of which is confined to the clofets of the learned, 
he long amufed the world with his celebrated tar* 
water ; and fo prone are mankind to become the 
dupes of bold pretenders in medicine, that the 
belief in the efficacy of this quack noftrum is not 
yet entirely eradicated. His object in the ereffcion 
of a college at the Bermudas was to convert the 
American favages to the ChrifUan religion ; and 
fo unwearied were his labours to promote this 
fcheme, that, in 1724, he obtained a grant of 
io,ooo/. from parliament, and failed in perfon for 
America, where he refided nearly two years. But 
the mmifter, Sir Robert Walpole, being more in- 
tent on gaining political profelyres than propagat- 
ing chriiiianity, and on organizing Rate corrup- 
tion than the downfal of heaihenifm, diverted the 
money to other purpofe? ; and the fum never being 
made good, the Doftor, after much expence, was 
conftrained to abandon his project. 

The fecond literary aifociation in Edinburgh was 
iniiituted in 173!, for the purpofe of advancing 



medical knowledge by the puUicatbn of remark- 
able cafes, or theoredc efiay^, in the varioug 
branches of medicine and forgery. The elder 
Munro, than profeffor of anatomy, and founder 
of the medical fchool in the univerlity of Edin- 
burgh, not only promoted the objefi: of the inl& 
cution by his learned lucabrations, but condefcended 
to oiEciate as fecretary; and under his fuper- 
intendance, its tranfa6^ons, bearix^ the tide of 
Medicai Ejffays and Obfiftvaiions^ &c. Were fuccef^ 
fively publiflied in five odavo volumes. Tins wotk 
has been charaderifed by Haller as one of the mod 
ufeful books in the fciencos of anatomy^ furgery, 
and medicine. It was well received by the pn> 
felfion, has run through various editions, and been 
tranflated into feveral foreign languages. 

Soon after the publicadon of thefe volumes, and 
about the year 17399 Ivb^laurin, who then filled 
the mathematical chair, propofed to extend the 
plan of the fociety, lb as to embrace philofophical 
and literary fubjeds. To this the members aflented, 
and with a confiderable increafe of their numbers, 
they affumed the name of Tbe Society for improvini 
Arts and Sciences^ or more generally The Philofo* 
fhical Society of Edinburgh^ James, Earl of Mor- 
ton, who was afterwards prefident of the Royal 
Society of London, was the firft prefident of this 
newly-modelled inftitution: Sir John Clerk, one 
of the barons of exchequer, and Dr. John Clerk, 
an eminent phyfician, were its vice-prefidents ; 
sad Mr. Machiurin and Dr« Pluinmer its fecreta^ 

G 4 lies. 


ries. The fociety, foon after its eftablKhmenf^ 
coulcl boaft of pofleffing all the eminent literati of 
Scotland ; but, imitating the abfurd prafUce of 
the learned bodies in other countries it received 
into the number of its members , baronets and 
peers whofe fole claims to admiilion confided in 
their high birth *and titles* 

The fubiequent difturbances in Scotland during 
the years 1745-6 interrupted its labours, which 
experienced another eflential injury by the death of 
the induftrious Maclaurin ; and it was not until the 
year 1752, that the members recommenced their 
meetings, when Dr. Munro junior, and our author, 
pavid Hume, (newly appointed librarian to the 
Faculty of Advocates,) were elefted fecretaries. 
They were, at the fame time, direded to arrange, 
and fuperintend the printing of fuch papers as had 
been declared worthy of public attention* Ac: 
cordingly the firft volume of thefe lucubration^ 
was publifhed in 17549 the fecond in 1756, and 
the third in 1771, under the title of FJfays an^ 
Obfervations^ pbxfical and literary . 

For feveral years afterwards the labours of the 
fociety languifhed, and feemed incapable of revi- 
val* At lad principal Robertfon propofed the 
eftablifhment of a new. aflfociation, under the name 
pf The Royal Society of Edinburgbj on a more ex- 
tended plan, and after the model of the foreigi^ 
academies, which dired . their inquiries to every 
|)ranch of fcience. Tb? fcheme being approve^ 


OF DAVID Hl^ME, ESQ^ - 89 

. * 

of, application wzs mad^, in 1783, for a charter 
of incorporation ; and fince that period feveral 
volumes of their Tranfadions have been pub- 

From thefe details it is obvious, that the inftita- 
tion of the Seled Society was totally diftinft from 
that train of literary aflbciations which led to the 
edablifliment of the Royal Society. The former 
was intended not only for philofophical inquiry, 
but for the improvement of the members in public 
fpeaking ; and the origin of it has been afcribed to 
Mr. Allan Ramfay, the painter, and fon of the 
poet of that name. In May 1754, he and two or 
three of his friends invited about fifteen gentlemen 
to meet in the Advocates' Library, where they agreed 
to form themfelves into a fociety ; future admif- 
iions were to be by ballot, and the meetings held 
every Friday evening during the fittings of tlic 
court of feilion, both in fummer and winter. 

In the lift of thofe who united with Mr. Ramfay 
in promoting this inftitution, we find the names of 
Robertfon, Hume, Kames, John Home, Car- 
lyfle, Wedderburn, Andrew Stewart, and Sir 
Gilbert Elliot. In fine, it foon attrafted fo much 
of the public notice, that, in the following year, 
the number of members exceeded a hundred. In 
1759, they amounted to one hundred and thirty, 
and included all the diftmguiihed literati of Edin- 
burgh and its neighbourhood, with an appropriate 
complement of nobility and gentry, moft of whom 

gave a punftual attendance, though a few only 
? took 


took a fliare in the debates. The fociety continued 
to flpurifh for fix or fevcn years, but the ardour 
of the members begaii gradually to fubiide. It 
had the credit of contributing moft eflfentially to the 
abolition of the practice of giving vails to fervants* 

During the iirft year of the Society's eftablifii* 
ment, the taik of maintaining the debates was 
chiefly undertaken by the elder Munro, Sir Alex- 
ander Dick, and two or three others, who were 
fucceeded by a crowd of orators. Among the 
mofl eminent fpeakers were Mr. Wedderbum (bet* 
ter known under the title of Lord Loughborough), 
Mr. Andrew Pringle, (afterwards a lord of fefEon), 
Lord Kames, Sir Gilbert Elliot, Dr. Robertfon, 
Patrick Lord Elibank, and Mr. Walter Stewart, 
advocate. Charles Townfhend fpoke once ; David 
Hume and Adam Smith very prudently never 
opened their lips* 

Among the members were ; 

Mr. (afterwards Dr.) Hugh Blair. 

John Dalrymple, advocate (now Sir John Dt 
a baron of exchequer) — ^author of feveral weU- 
known performances* 

James Burnet, advocate, afterwards Lord Mon* 
. William Cullen, M. D. and profeffor. 

William Johnflon, advocate, afterwards Sir W. 
Pulteney, M.P. 

John Swinton, advocate, afterwards a lord of 
feffion, under the title of Lord Swinton — autboc 

^ of 


of an Abridgment of the Laws of Scotland and 
fome pamphlets on the general Equalization of 
Weights and MeaTures in Scotland. 

John Home, author of Douglas. 

Sir David Dalrymple, advocate, afterwards a 
lord of feffion, under the title of Lord Hailes : — a 
voluminous writer, and a learned antiquarian. 
Sir David was a man of wit ; but it was re- 
marked, that his fpeecbes were always tindured 
with religion. 

Adam Fergufon, afterwards Dr. A. F. and Pro- 
feffor of Moral Philofopby. 

Francis Home, M. D. Frofeflbr of Materia Me- 
dica, and author of fome profeflional treatifes. 

John and James Adam, the eminent architefts. 

Robert Whytt, M. D. whofe treatifes on Vital 
Motion and the Nerves ftill maintain their welU 
earned celebrity in the medical fchools. 

William Tytler, writer to the fignet, author of 
the Vindicatiou ot Queen Mary. 

Francis Garden, advocate, afterwards a lord of 
fcffion, under the title of Lord Gardenftone : — ^he 
is known to the literary world as the author of two 
puny volumes of Travelling Memorandums, and 
fome other bagatelles. 

John Clerk Efq. of Eldin :— author of an excel- 
lent work on Naval TadHcs. 

Hugh Dalrymple, advocate: — ^author of Ro- 

Andrew Stewart, finceM. ?• for Weymouth: — 
author of J^etters to Lord Mansfield, a Hiftory of 



the HouTe of Stewart, and a Supplement ta thlt 
Hiftory. ^ ' 

Rev, Dr. Robert Wallace, author of a Diflerta- 
tion on the Numbers of Mankind, and other 

His fon, George Wallace, advocate : — ^author of 
a folio Inflitute of the Law of Scotland. 

Patrick, Lord Elibank : — ^be had ferved as a 
lieutenant-colonel in the Carthagena expedition* 
He was a celebrated wit, and fpoke every night 
with uncommon fluency. His Lord (hip was a 
favourite member of the Poker Club. Two or 
three pamphlets have been afcribed to him. 

Rev.. Mr. William Wilkie, minifter of Ratho >— 
author of the Epigoniad, and afterwards Profeffor 
of Natural Philo(i:)phy at St. Andrew's. He was 
an able orator, remarkable for his fingular ab- 
fence of mind, great intelligence, and livelinefs of 

Lord Elibank, Lord ' Monboddo, and Mr, 
Wilkie, particularly diftinguiflied themfelves, as 
fpeakers, by the eccentricity of their arguments, 
and their inexhauftible flow of humour. The 
fociety held its meetings, which generally confided 
of about 20 or 30 members, not in a tavern, as 
its predeceifors had done, but in a room belonging 
to one of the Mafon lodges of Edinburgh. 
Moft of the clergymen of the metropolis were 
members, and attended with great pundtuality. 

After this detail of the commencement of the 
Silc^ SocUiy^ a brief account of its fubfequent 



operations cannot be uninterefting, in fo hr as 
they are conneded \pith the literary hiftory of 

In 1 761, it undertook the Herculean tafkof 
annihilating the ScottiQi tongue, and fubftituting 
the £ngli(h language and pronunciadon in its 
place. What gave, rife to this chimerical projefh 
was the important incident of old Sheridan's arri- 
val at Edinburgh^ ."who had. made the tour of 
Great Britain as an itinerant lecturer on elocution. 
This gentleman announced his appearance in the 
Scottifh capit?il, aad his* plan of inftrudion in his 
ufual ilyle of arrogance, vanity,; and felf-conceit ; 
indeed the lofty notion he entertained of the vaft 
importance of the art which he profefled to 
teach, and his own excluHve abilities for teach- 
ing it, appear in every page of his flimfy publi- 
cations*. 1 

* The luminous manner, in which Mr. Sheridan intruded 
hiB auditory, may be gathered from the Ledlures he publiihed, 
tht following paflage in which is a fair and (Inking inftance of 
their perfpicuity> and of the vaunted talents of this literary 

«* The next progrcffion of number," fays he, " is, when the 
fame note is repeated^ but in fuch a way that one makes a more 
icnfible impreffion on the ear than the other, by being more 
forcibly (biicky and therefore hating » 'greater degree of loud<* 
nefs. As thtum — ii-tum or tum-ti-^um^i. Or when two 
weak notes precede a more forcible one, as ti^tt-tum-^tUiUtum ; 
or when they follow one, as tidm't$'ti-—tum't7it. Sheridan's 
Ledures on the Art of Reading ; fecond part, containing the 
Alt of Reading Vcrfe. 



Mr. Sheridan's Ledhires continued for four 
veeks ; and fuch was the rage for fpeaking* 
mth an Englifh accent, that more than three 
hundred gentlemen, among whom were the moft 
eminent in the coimtry for rank and learning, 
attended him. Availing himfelf of this kind re-^ 
ception, he gave notice, that he propofed to pulv 
liih his Ledures on Elocution, with feveral trads 
relative to that fubjeft, in one volilme quarto. 
Moft of the gentlemen fubfcribed for copies ; and 
a fimilar projeft for improving the elocution of 
females was welcomed by them with a fimilar fub^ 
fcription. The long interval, which elapfed be« 
tween Sheridan's receiving the fubfcription-money 
and the publication of his book, expofed him to 
a paper warfare in the pubUc journals. 

Thefe Le&ures were delivered in St. Paul's cha^* 
pel ; and during their continuance the church was 
crowded with ladies and gentlemen, moft of whom 
began to affeft a nicety of pronunciation in their 
ordinary difcourfe. Even the grave academic gave 
way to the prevailing faihion of the day ; and Df. 
Robertfon was fo much enamoured with it, that 
he /ported^ on all occafions, his progrefs in fpeak* 
ing Englifh, . and to the day of his death, perfe* 
vered in the praOice of enunciating his words 
with the moft pointed corrednefs. 

Such were the effefts of this general frenzy, 
that, about a month after Sheridan's arrival, 


OF D.4VID HUME, £SQ^ fg 

public intimation wzs given in the Edinburgh 
newfpapers, that the plan of a new eftablifhment 
for carrying on, in Scotland, the fludy of the 
EngKih tongue, in a regular and proper manner, 
was to be laid before the Sekd Society; and 
accordingly at their enfuing meeting the following 
refolutions were agreed to and publifhed. 


Regulations of the Seled Society for promoting the 
Reading and Speaking of the Englijh Language in 

** As the intercourfe between this part of Great 
Britain and the capital daily increafes, both on 
account of bufmefs and amufement, and mud 
ftill go on increafing, gentlemen, educated in Scot- 
land, have long been fenfible of the difadvantages 
under which they labour, from their imperfeft 
knowledge of the Englijh tongue^ and the impro- 
priety with which they fpeak it. 

** Experience hath convinced Scotfmen, that it 
ig not impoilible for perfons bom and educated iii 
this country, to acquire fuch knowledge of the 
Engliih tongue, as to write it with fome tolerable 
purity. But with regard to the other point, that 
of fpeaking with propriety, as little has been 
hitherto attempted, it has generally been taken for 
granted, that there was no profpcfl: of attempting 
any thing with a probability of fuccefs, though at 
the iame time it is allowed to be an accomplifliment 



more important, and more univerfally ufeful than 
the other. 

*^ In other countries great and beneficial effe£tt 
have flowed from the regular ftudy of their own 
languages, and the art of public fpeaking, under 
diligent and well-inftruded mafters. And, in pro- 
portion as the dialect of any province is corrupt or 
barbarous, the neceflity of ftudying purity in fpeech 
increafes. Even perfons well advanced in life may 
be taught, by (kilful in(lru£tors, to avoid many 
grofs improprieties in quantity, accent, the manner 
of founding the vowels, &c. which, at prefent, 
render the Scotch dialed fo oflFenfive. Among 
thofe in a more early period of life, greater effeds 
may be expected from regular inftruftion. It is in 
their power not only to guard againft the more 
grofs faults in fpeech peculiar to Scotfmen, • but to 
attain, in feme degree, propriety and elegance in 
difcourfe. Such as are juft entering upon their 
courfe of education, whofe organs are yet pliable, 
and capable of being formed to new founds and 
new habits, may acquire the power of fpeaking^ 
not only with purity, but with grace and eloquence, 

" For thefe reafons the Select Society, at a 
very numerous meeting held in order to confider this 
matter, did unanimoufly declare it to be their opi- 
nion, that it would be of great advantage to this 
country, if a proper number of perfons from 
England, duly qualified to inftruft genilemcn in 


Of DAVID HUME, £8(1:. 97 

the knowledge of the Engliih tongue, the manner 
of pronouncing it with purity, and the art of pub* 
lie fpeaking, were fettled in Edinburgh ; and if, 
at the iame time^ a proper number of mailers from 
chie fame country, duly qualified for teaching chil- 
dren the reading of Engliih, ihould open fchools in 
i^inburgh for that purpofe. 

*^ But being fully fenfible that there could be no 
profpe£t of procuring perfons with the qualifica* 
tions requifite for thefe ftations, without giving 
them proper fecurity for their encouragement and 
fubfiftence, the fociety, in order to promote this 
laudable defign by their example, did inftantly be- 
gin a voluntary fubfcription, for raifmg the fum 
neceflary towards carrying it into execution ; and 
appointed fome of their number to apply to the 
abfemt members, to other private gentlemen, and 
to moft of the public bodies or focieties in Scotland, 
that they might ^ve it their countenance and 

^^ And as the dire£tion of this fcheme would 
greatly interrupt the proper bufinefs of the Select 
Society, and as it is equitable that all contributors 
ihould have accefs to overfee and direft the appli^ 
cation of the fums to be levied, it is therefore 

I. That the management and diredion of this 
undertaking be vefted in fixteen perfons to be 
elefted as Ordinary Directors in the manner lijfter 

H ai That 


2. That befides thefc, ten perfons (hall be dcftcd 
Extraordinary Diredors. 

3^ That the Ordinary Diredors fhall be empow* 
cred to deft their own trcafurer, fccretary, and 
other officers ; to appoint the time and place of 
their meeting, and to receive and apply the monijt 

4. That the Ordinary Diredors (ball employ as 
many teachers and mailers as the fund^ will per* 
mit, and appoint them fuch falaries as to them 
fhall appear proper, and oblige them to teach 
according to fuch plans or regulations as they 
(hall judge mod expedient for promoting the pur- 
pofes which the fubfcribers have in view, 

5s That two of the Ordinary DireSors (hall, on 
the firfl! Mondays of July and December, in each 
year, vifit the fchools taught b*the mafters whon^ 
they have appointed, examine the children under 
their care, and make a report in writing to the next 
meeting of the Ordinary Diredtors. 

ۥ That, on the fame days, two of the Ordi* 
nary Diredors (hall call before them the teachers 
whom they have appointed, take accoimt of their 
method of inftruding thofe under their care, and 
inquire concerning their diligence and fuccefs. 

: 7* That there (hall be held two general meet* 
ings of the Society in each year> one on the 



Iccond Wednefday of July, and the other on the 
fecond Wednefday of December j of which meet- 
ings, not only all the members of the Select 
Society, but every other perfon who Ihall fub- 
fcribe one guinea yearly, for the fpace of three 
years, (hall be members, and have a right to vote 

in all matters that come before them. 


8. That the Ordinary DireAors (hall lay before 
each of thefe meetings ' a report of their tranf* 
adions during the fix months preceding. 

9. That the Diredlofs, both Ordinary and Ex- 
traordinary, fhall be annually elefted, on the 
fecond Wednefday of December by the forefaid 
general meeting of contributors ; it being under- 
ftood that a third part of the Diredors fhall be 
changed each year. 

10. That on Tuefday the 4th of Auguft, the 
Select Society (hall eleft Direftors, Ordinary 
and Extraordinary, who (hall continue in office 
till the fecond Wednefday of December 1762. 

1 1 . That the general body of contributors^ to- 
gether with the members of the Seleft Society, 
fhall take the name of 7%^ Society for fromoting tbt 
Reading and Speaking of the Englijh Language in 

N. B. In order to fatisfy contributors, that 
teachers and mafters properly qualified may be got, 

H a and 

lOO LlfB AND ^\'lllTINOS 

and fhall be employed, it is proper to inform them^ 
that Mr. Sheridan, whofe ingenious and in- 
ftruftive ledures in this city firft fuggeftcd the idea 
of eftablifliing the fociety propofed, has not only 
engaged to find out teachers and mailers, and to 
communicate to them his ideas concerning the 
proper method of performing their duty ; but has 
alfo offered to vifit this place, as often as the (itua- 
tion of his affairs will permit, and, during his 
refidence here, to contribute his advice and aflift- 
ance, towards carrying forward the operations of 
the fociety in the moft exteniive and fuccelsful 

Liji of Ordinary and Extraordinary Di- 
rectors named and appointed for the Purpofi 

ordinary directors* 

Lord Auchinleck. 

Lord Alemoor. 

Sir Adam Fergufon, baronet, 

Mr. Walter Stewart. 

Mr. William Johnftone, 1 

Mr. George Dempfter, > advocates. 

Mr. Jas. Fergufon, tertius,) 

Mr. Alexander Tait, clerk of feflion. 

Rev. Dr. Hugh Blair. 

Rev. Dr. John Jardine. 

Rev. Dr. William Robertfon. 



Dr. John Hope. 
Profeffor Adam Fergufon, 
Mr. John Fordyce, merchant. 
Mr. John Adam, architeft. 
Mr. James RulTel, furgeon. 


Earl of Errol. 

Earl of Eglinton. 

Earl of Galloway. 

Earl of Elgin. 

Lord Elibank. 

Lord Kames. 

Sir Alexander Dick. 

Mr. James Fergufon, advocate, dean of faculty^ 

George Drummond Efq. commiflioner of excife. 

Mr. Charles Hamilton-Gordon, advocate. 

So formidable a lift of great names prefaged the 
immediate difappearance of the vernacular lan- 
guage of Scotland : but their fanguine expedations 
were foon blafted ; and credit will fcarcely be given 
to the ignominious refult of all this mighty buftle^ 
A few weeks afterwards, the managers mtimated 
in the newfpapers, that they had engaged Mr. 
Leigh, a perfon well qualified to teach the pronun- 
ciation of the Englifh tongue with propriety and 
grace; and that they had fixed the prices and 
conditions of his attendance upon gentlemen:—* 
And with this contemptible annonce the Select 



Society, which comprifed all the high nlnk 
and literature of Scotland, clofed its labours 
for ever. 

To this Angular epidemic in the metropolis of 
Scotland may, in fome meafure, be afcribed th# 
eftablifhment of a Regius Profeflbrihip of Rheto- 
ric and Belles Lettres in the univerfity of Edin- 
burgh. A few years previous to this period, Adam 
Smith had read leflures on the fame fubje£l in 
that city, which were interrupted by his appoint- 
ment to the Profeflbrfhip of Moral Philofophy at 
Glafgow. In winter 1755-6, thefe leftures were 
revived with great approbation by Mr. Robert 
Watfon, afterwards Profeffor of Logic and Prin- 
cipal of the univerfity of St. Andrew's. Dn Hugh 
Blair, now one of the minifters of Edinburgh, gave 
a courfe of ledures on compoiition in winter 
1759-60, and with fuch general fatisfadion, that 
the magiftrates or city-corporation were afterwards 
induced to ered in the college a new profeflbrfhip 
of rhetoric, and appoint the Dodor to fill the 
chair; but no falary was annexed to it. The 
favourite purfuit of the day was friendly to the 
Do&or^s views, and a royal warrant was obtained 
on the 27th April 1762, ere£ling and endowing 
his office, under the name of ** The Profeifion of 
Rhetoric and Belles Lettres," and nominating him 
Regius Profeffor, with a falary of 70/. per annum. 
After this long digreffion refpeding a tranfaflion^ 
in which Mr. Hume was prevented from diredly 



participating by a journey he made to London, we 
will refumc the account of the Life and Writings 
of our Hiftorian. 

Mr. Hume refigned his office of librarian on the 
4th of January 1757. This ftep was owing, ac« 
cording to our information, to the piety of the 
late Lord Hailes, who was then a barrifter, and 
who ^edxed to take oiFence at our author's official 
condud, alleging that he brought improper books 
into the library. Nettled at this charge, and flill 
fmarting under the calumny of zealots, Hume 
threw up his appointment in difgufl, and was 
fucceeded by his friend Mr. (now Dr.) Adam 
Fergufon, who was chaplain to Lord John 
Murray's Highland regiment. Thus, in the num* 
ber of librarians, the Faculty of Advocates can 
boafl of having Ruddiman, Hume, and Fergufon, 
who held fucceffively the office, and form a 
feries which reproaches the indolence of their 

In February 1757, Mr. Hume publifhed at 
London, a traft intitled. Four Dijfertations : vi^ 
1. The Natural Hiftory of Religion.-^2. Of ibi 
Pajfions. — 3. Of Tragedy.-^j^. Of:fbe Standard of 
Tajic*. It might have been cxpefted, that the 


* In i2mo. price 31. Millar. In his own Life Mr, Hume 
fay8, that he. publi(hed this volume in the interval between the 
•ppearance of the firft and fecond volume of his Hiftory « I 

H 4 \ have) 


violent clamour, which, according to hiii own ac« 
count, the firft volume of his Hiftory had ex- 
cited ; and late events would, together, have con* 
ferred fuch celebrity on his name, that the public 
would have fought with avidity any performance 
coming from his pen. Yet this new work experi- 
enced the fame obfcurity and negledt, which it{i 
predecefTors had done. 

Such was the fate which his Diflertations met 
with, and which Mr. Hume himfelf has mentioned 
with his ufual naivete : but they feem to have re- 
ceived more notice in the literary world, than he 
has mentioned in his narrative. In May 17571 
there appeared Remarks on Hum^s Natural Hifi 
iory of Religion : in June 1758, a pamphlet, likewife 
intitled Remarks on Hume*s EJfays on the Natural 
Hi/iory of Religiony was publifhed at London; and 
in November that year, appeared Remarks upon 
ibe Natural Hiflory of Religion^ by Mr. Hume, with 
Dialogues on Heathen Idolatry and the Cbriftian 
Religion. The lad mentioned tradt, which is al- 
luded to by our author in his own Life, was the 
produdion of Dr. Hurd, now Bifliop of Wor- 
cefter, the friend and biographer of Warbur- 
ton ; and this flight mark of attention contributed 
to footh the chagrin, which oppreiTed the bread 
of our hiflorian in confequence of the cold recep- 
tion of his performance. 

have* however, followed the date of the imprint in its title* 
pagej and that of its adfertifement in the public jounudt. 

8 Im 


' In 1758, his philofophical and literary works, 
with the omifTion of bis Treatife on Human Na- 
ture, were coilefted into a quarto volume, under 
the title of EJfa'js and Treaiifes on feveral Subje^ ; 
by David Hume, Efq. It contained ail the trads, 
which, in 1760, were publiflied in the more con. 
▼enient form of 4 vols. 1 2 mo., and compofe our 
prefent editions in two volumes, 8vo. after under- 
going feveral alterations, fome of which will be 
noticed in the courfe of our remarks on his literaij 
and political pieces. 

The year 1759 forms a kind of epoch in SgoT-. 
tifli literature. Adam Smith itiade his firft eflay in 
author(hip by the publication of his Theory of M#- 
ral Sentiments. The Hijiory of Scotland^ in 2 vob. 
4to. by Dr« Robertfon, appeared on the firll of 
February, and met with fuch a flattering recq^ 
tion, that, by the end of the month, the bodL* 
feller fent him word to make the requifite prepant- 
tions for a fecond edition. Mr. Hume went to 
London in 1758, for the purpofe of fuperintend- 
ing the new edition of his Eflfays, and for the more 
important objcft of correfting the proof flujet^^ 
two additional volumes of his hiftorical wMc." In 
March 1759, that part of the Hiftory of England, 
which comprifes the reigns 06 the houfe of Tudor, 
from the acccfliqfl of ^Henry VII. to the death of 
Queen Elizabeth, was publiihed in two volumes 
4to ♦. 

* Price iL I OS. boards. 






Of all his works this feems to have been the 
moft kindly received. It embraced a portion of 
pur national annals, which had given rife to much 
controverfy, and which was at this very time re* 
commended to the public attention by Dr, Robert- 
fon's performance. Mr. Hume, in fpeaking of the 
reception which this portion of his Hiftory expert* 
enced, tells us, that ^^ the clamour againft it waa 
almoft equal to that againft the Hiftory of the 
two firft Stuarts. The reign of Elizabeth was 
particularly obnoxious. But I was/' fays he, 
now callous againft the impreffions of public 
folly, and continued very peaceably and con- 
tentedly in my retreat at Edinburgh.'* Induced 
by this detail to believe that the republic of letters - 
had been thrown into commotion by his publica- 
tion, we learched with earneftnefs into the literary 
hiftories of that period ; but have been unable to 
difcover any of that outcry which affailed the too 
fenfitive ears of Mr. Hume. In later times, in- 
deed, his accuracy, impartiality, and political 
tenets have been attacked, and with juftice, but 
without any fclamour, and feldom with illiberality. 

Our author, although a man of the world, did 
not, on this vifit to the metropolis, intermingle in 
its learned or fafhionable circles, but confined him- 
felf to the objedt of his journey^ His refidence, 
however, was not unufeful to his literary friends at 
Edinburgh ; and the intereft which he took in 
their fuccefs, will appear from the following let- 
ters. He alfo addrefied to the editors of the Cri* 



tical Review a long letter on the literary charaSer 
and poetic merit of Mr. Wilkie's Epigoniad. It 
was publiiiied by them in the Review for April 
1759, and is inferted in our Appendix, No. IL 

Mr. Hume to Dr. Robertson \ 

'* London, Lifle-flre^ 
Nov. iS, 1738. 

•« My Dear Sir, 

•• According to your permiflion I have always 
got your correfied fheets from Strahan ; and am 
glad to fmd, that we fliall agree in almoft all the 
material parts of our Hiftory. Your refolution to 
aflert the authenticity of Mary's letter to Bothwd, 
with the confequence which muft necelfarily fol- 
low, removes the chief point, in which, I apprc* 
hend, we fliould differ. There remain, however, 
two other points, where I have not the good for- 
tune to agree with you, viz. the violation of the 
treaty of Perth by Mary of Guife, and the inno- 
cency of Mary with regard to Babington's con- 
fpiracy: but as I had written notes upon thefc 
paiTages, the public mull judge between us. Only 
allow me to fay, that even if you be in tjbs^rigte 
Ivith regard to the laft, (of which, notwlthftanding 
my deference to your authoriq^, I cannot perceive 
the leaft appearance)^ you are certainly too fhort 
and abrupt in handling it. I believe you go con- 
trary to receif ed opinion ; and the point was of 
(onfequence enough to merit a note or differtatioa. 

♦ Prof. Stewart*» Life of Dr, RobcrtfoB, Ap. p. ajj^, 

*' There 


•* There is ftill another point, in which 
differ, and which reduced me to great perplexity* 
You told me that all hiftorians had been miftaken 
with regard to James's behaviour on his mother's 
trial and execution; that he was not really the 
pious fon he pretended to be; that the appear- 
ances, which deceived the world, were put on at 
the folicitation of the French ambaiTador, Cour- 
celles ; and that I (hould find all this proved by a 
manufcript of Dr. Campbell's. I accordingly 
fpoke of the matter to Dr. Campbell, who conr 
firmed what you faid, with many additions and 
amplifications. I defired to have the manufcript, 
which he fent me: but great was my furprife, 
when I found the contrary in every page, many 
praifes bellowed oa the king's piety, both by 
Courcelles and the French court} his real 
grief and refentment painted in the flrongefl co- 
lours ; refolutions even taken by him to form an 
alliance with PhiUp of Spain, in order to get re- 
venge ; repeated advices given him, by Courcelles 
and the French minifters, rather to conceal his re- 
fentment till a proper opportunity offered of taking 

*' What moft difpleafed me in this affair was, 
that as I thought myfelf obliged to follow the 
ordinary tenor of the printed htftorian, while you 
appealed to manufcript, it would be necejBary for 
me to appeal to the fame manufcripts, to give ex* 
trafts of them, and to oppofe your conclufions* 
Though I know that I could execute this matter 



in a friendly and obliging manner for you, yet I 
own that I was very uneafy at finding myfelf under 
a neceifity of obferving any thing which might 
appear a miftake in ^our narration. But there 
came to me a man this morning, who, as I fancied, 
gave me the key of the difficulty, but without 
freeing me from my perplexity. This was a man 
commonly employed by Millar and Strahan to 
decypher manufcripts. He brought me a letter of 
yours to Strahan, where you defired him to apply 
to me in order to point out the paflages proper to 
be inferted in your Appendix, and proper to prove 
the aflertion of your text. You add there, thefe 
letters are in the French language. I immediately 
concluded that you had not read the manufcripts, 
but had taken it on Mr* Campbell's word ; for the 
letters are in Englifh, tranflated, by I know noC 
whom, from the French. 

** I could do nothing on this occafion, but de- 
fire Strahan to flop the prefs in printing the Ap- 
pendix, and flay till I wrote to you. If I could 
perfuade you to change the narration of the text, 
that fheet could be eafily cancelled, and an Ap- 
pendix formed proper to confirm an oppofite ac- 
count. If you flill perfift in your opinion, fome- 
body elfe whom you trufted, might be employed to 
find the proper p^&get } for I cannot find them. 

** There is only one paflage which looks like 
your opinion, and which I (hall tranfcribe to you. 
It is a relation of what pafied between James and 




Courcelles upon the firft rumoar of the difcoverjr 
of Babington*s confjMracy, before James apprehend* 
ed his mother to be in any danger. * l*he king 
faid, he Idved his mother as much as nature and 
duty bound him ; but he could not love her ♦ •: 
for he knew well (he bore him no more goodwill 
than (he did to the Queen of England : That be 
had feen, with his own eyes, before Foulnaye'a 
departure out of Scotland, a letter to him^ 
whereby he fent him word, that if he would not 
conform himfelf to her will, and follow her 
counfels and advice, that he (hould content him* 
felf with the lordfhip of Damley, which was all 
that appertained unto him by his father : Far* 
ther, that he had fcen other letters, under her 
ow^i hand, confirming her evil towards him. 
Befides, that (lie had oftentimes gone about to 
make a regency in Scotland, and to put him be- 
fide the crown ; that it behoved him to think of 
his own affairs, and that he thought the Queen 
of England would attempt nothing againft her 
perfon without making him acquainted : That 
his mother was henceforward to carry herfelf 
both towards him and the Queen of England 
after another fort, without bending any more 
upon fuch pradices and intelUgences as (he had 
in former times : That he hoped to fet fuch per- 
fons about her as' QHere the manufcript is not 
farther legible.3 

•* But though fuch were Jameses fentiments, 
before he apprehended his mother to be in danger, 



he adopted a diredly oppofite condud afterwards, 
as I told you. I can only exprefs my wifhes, that 
you may fee reafon to conform your narrative in 
Tol. ii. pp. 139, 140, to thig account, or omit 
that Appendix altogether, or find fome other per- 
fon who can better execute your intentions thzn it 
18 poilible for me to do.'' 

Mr. Hume to Dr. Robertson. 


*' 25th January, 1759, 

<< Mt^Dear Sir, 

** What I wrote you with regard to Mary's con- 
currence in the confpiracy againft Queen Elizabeth, 
was from the printed hiftories of papers ; and no- 
thing ever appeared to me more evident. Your 
chief objedion I fee is derived from one circum- 
ftance, that neither the fecretaries nor confpirators 
were confronted vrith Mary: but you muft con- 
fider that the law did not then require this con- 
frontation, and it was in no cafe the praftice. 
The crown' could not well grant it in one cafe 
without granting it in all ^ becaufe the refnfmg of ic 
would then have been a ftrong prefumption of in- 
nocence in the prifoner. Yet as' Mary's was an 
extraordinary cafe, Elizabeth Was willing to have 
granted it. I find in Forbes's MS. papers, fent 
me by Lord Royfton, a letter of her's to Burleigh 
and Walfingham, wherein (he tells them, that, if 
they thought proper, they might carry down the 
two fecretaries to Fotheringay, in order to con- 



fitont them with hen But they reply, that th<if 
ibSaok it necdlefs. 

•• But I am now forry to tell you, that by Mur^ 
den's State Papers, uhich are printed, the matter 
is put be\ond all queftion. thefe papers during 
the holidays by Dr. Birch's means ; and as foonai 
I had read them, I ran to Millar, and defired him 
Tcry earned ly to {lop the publication of your Hiftory 
till I fliould write to you, and give you an oppor* 
tunity of correding a miftake of fo great moment ; 
but he abfolutely refufed compliance. He laid 
that your book was now finiflied ; thatvthe copies 
would be Slipped for Scotland in two days ; that 
the whole narration of Mary's trial mu(t be wrot^ 
over again ; that this would require time, and it 
vas uncertain whether the new narrative could be 
brought within the fame compafs with the old; 
that this change, he faid, would require the can* 
celling a great many (heets ; that there were feat* 
tered pall'ages through the volumes founded oil 
your theory, and thefe muil alfo be all cancelled^ 
and that this change required the new printing of a 
great part of the edition* 

" For thefe teafons, which do not >vant force» 
he refufed, after deliberation, to ftop his publica« 
tion, and I was obliged to acquiefce. Tour bed 
apology, at prefent, is, that you could not poffibly 
fee the grounds of Mary's guilt, and every equit« 
able perfon will excufe you. 



0» DAVID HtTMC) £S<^ ttf 

•^* I am ferry, on many accomits, that you did 
Dot lee this coUeAion of Murden'$. Among othet 
curiofities, there are feveral mftru&ions to K 
Killigrewi dated lolh September 1572. He was 
then fent Into Seoriand. It there appears, that the 
tegents, Murray and Lennox, had defired Mary td 
be put into their hands, in order to try her and 
pot her to death. Elizabeth there offers to regen( 
Mar to deliver her up, provided good fecurity was 
given, ^ that (he (hould receive that (he hath de- 
• fervdd there by order of juftice, whereby no far* 
^ ther peril fhould enfue by her efcaping, or by 
^ fetring her up again/ It is probable. Mar re* 
fufed compliance, for no fteps were taken to* 
wards it. 

** I am nearly printed out, and (hall be (\ire M 
fend you a copy by the (tage-coach^ or'fome othei^' 
conveyance. I beg of you to make remarks aft 
you go along. It would have been much bettef 
had we communicated before printing, which wat 
always my defire, and was moft fuitable to the 
fnend(hip which always did, and, I hope^ always 
will fubfift Ijetween us. I fpeak this chieSy on my 
own account. For though I had the peMifkl o( 
your (heet^ before I printed, I wa$ no| able to de« 
rive fuf6cient benefits from thMn^ of, indeed, ttf 
make any al teration by thdr aififtancci There (liU 
remain, I fear, maJiy errors, of which you could 
have ccnvinteA me, if we had canvafTed the mat* 
ter in gonverfaMon. Perh^ipi T might alio htkfi 
l»#ciiXMNet|m0 no lei(» fortvmate wkb yos« Parti* 

I cttlarly 


cularly I could almoft undertake to convince yoa^. 
tbat the Earl of Murray's condud v^ith the Duke of 
Norfolk was no way diihonourable. 


•• 1 have feen a copy of your hlftory iwtb 
Cfcarles Stafihope. Lord Willoughby, who had 
been there reading fome paflages of it, faid, that 
you was certainly miflaken with regard to the 9& 
pafled in the laft parliament of Mary^ fettling the 
Reformation. He faid, that the ad of parliament, 
the firft of James^ was no proof of it : for though 
that ftatute contams a ftatute where the Queen's 
name was employed, yet that is always the cafe 
with the bills brought into parliament, even though 
they recdve not the royal aflent, nor, perhaps, pais 
the houfes. I wifh this be not the cafe, confider* 
ing the teftimony of Buchanan, Calderwood, and 
Spottifwood. Befides, if the bill had before re* 
ceived the royal aflent, what neceflity of repeating 
•it, or palling it again ? Mary^s title was more ixh 
difputai>le than James's. 

** Du Blair tells me^ that Prince Edward is 
reading you, and is charmed. I hear the fame of 
the Frincefs and Prince of Wales. But what will 
T^y give you pleafure, I lent my copy to Elliot 
during the holidays, who thinks it one of the fined 
performances he ever read; and though he ex* 
peded much, he finds more. He remarked, how* 
ever, (which is alfo my opinion,) that in the b^ 
ginning, before your pen was fufficiently accu& 
tomed to the hiftoric ftyle, you eniploy too many 


09 &AVID RUVIj tl^ 115 

d^reffiont and lefledtionti This wu alfe fome* 
what my own cafe, which I ha:irc cotre£ted in my 
new edition* 

^r Millar wa« propoGng to publifh me about tho 
middle of March^ but I (hall communicate to hiak 
your defire, even though I tliink it entirely grmuuk 
Ids, as you will likewife think after you have rcac^ 
my volume. He has very needlefsly delayed your* 
publication till the firft of Fdbruary, at die defire 
of the Edinburgh bookfellers, who could no wajt 
be afieded by a pidi>lication in London* 

^^ I was exceedingly forry not to be able ta 
comply with your defire, when you exprefled your 
wifli that I (hould not write this period I could 
not write downward : for when you find occafion» 
by new diTcoveries, to corre£l your opinion witK 
regard to fads which pafled in Queen's Elizabeth's 
days ; who that has not the beft opportunities of 
informing himfelf, could venture to relate any re* 
cent tranfadionis ? I muft, therefore, have abaa* 
doned ahogether this fcheme of the Englifli hiftory, 
in which 1 had proceeded fo &r, if I had not aded 
as 1 did. You will fee what light and foice this 
hiAory of the Tudors bellows on. that of the Stu^ 
arts. Had I been prudent I ibould have begun 
with it. I care not to boaft, but I will venture to 
fay, that I have now effedually flopped the 
mouths of aU thofe viUanous WIdgs who railed 
at me. 

la "You 

ni fttn AM> witiTiH«« 

-' ^ Tdis tr6 fe kind as to alk me about my ocuiu 
iUg'^wm I can yet anfwer nothing. I hare the 
ftrangeft reludance to change places. I lived 
feveral yean happy with my brother at Ninewells, 
and hid not his marriage changed a little the ftate 
dt ^hmAji I believe I ihould have lived mid 
died thtre« I ufed every expedient to evade this 
journey to London, yet it is now uncertain whe- 
dier 1 fliall ever leave it^ I have had fome invita- 
tfofiSy and fome intentions of taking a trip to 
Karli ^ but I believe it \nll be fafer for me not to; 
go thither, for I might probably fettle there for 
Kfe* No one was ever endowed with fo great ^ 
portion €f ibtvis inertia. But as I live here very 
privately, and avdd as much as poffible (and it » 
eafily poffible) all connexions with the great, I be- 
ieve I fhouM be better at Edinburgh. • • • * 

Mr* HuMx to Dr. Robxxtsok. 

** I fbrgot to teH you, that two days ago I waa 
in the Houle of Commons, where an Englifli gen* 
tieman came to me, and told me that he had lately 
fent to a grocer's (hop for a pound of raifins, which 
he received wrapt up in a paper that he fliewed me» 
How would you have turned pale at the fight ! It. 
was a leaf of your Hiftory, and the rery charader ' 


OF BAVm KDUBp 18^ tff 

of Queen Elizabeth, which you had laboured fo 
finely, little thinking it would fo foon come to fo 
difgraceful an end. I happened t Uttk ifter to fte 
Millar, and told him the (lory ; confuldng him» to 
be fure, on the fate of Ms new boafled 6i(k>rfan9 
of whom he was fo fond. But the 'ftory pt&fH 
more lerious than I apprehended* For he toU 
Strahan^ who thence fufpefts filially amdng Ui 
'prentices and jcnimeymen ; and has lent me terf 
eameftlyto know the gentleman^ name» that fa6 
may find out the grocer, and trace the matter t6 
the bottom. In Tain did I remonftrate, that thif was 
fopner or later the hte of all authors, feriusj uyut^ 
fors exitura. He will not be fadsfied ; and htgk 
me to keep my jokes for another occafion. ^Bttt 
that I am refolved not to do ; and, thetieibre, be^ 
ing repulfed by his paffion and ferfoulaeft, I direft 
them againft you. 

^* Next week I am publiihed ; and then I ex- 

peft a conftant compaiifon will be made between 

Dr. Robertfon and Mr. Hume. I ihall tell yoA 

in a few weeks, which of thele heroes is likely to 

prevail. Meanwhile, I can inform both of thefH 

for their comforts, thu their combat is not Iftely 

to make half fo much noife asf that between 

Broughton and the one*eycd coachman. Vdnitas 

vanitatum^ atque omnia vanitat. ' I fliall ftill except^ 

tiowever, the friendfli^ and good opimon of wor* 

thy men. 

•• 1 am, Ice/' 

I3 Mr, 


Mr* Hums to Dr« Robe&tsok* 

^^ Tou have very good caufe to be fatisfied with 
the fuceefs of your Hiftory, as far as it can be 
judged of from a few weeks publication. I have 
not heard of one, who does not prailie it warmly ; 
and were I to enumerate all thofe, whofe fuffiragei 
I have either heard in its favour, or been told of^ 
1 fhould fill my letter with a lifl of names. MaU 
let told me, that he was fure there was no £ng? 
lifhman capable of compofing fuch a work. Ulie 
town will have it, that you was educated at Ox- 
ford, thinking it impoiEble for a mere untravelled 
Scotchman to produce fuch language. In fhort, 
you may depend on the fuccefs of your work, and 
that your name is known very much to you^p 

^^ I am diverting myfelf >\ith the nodgn, how 
much you will profit by the applaufe of my enc* 
jnies in Scotland. Had you and I been fuch foolf 
as to have given way to jealoufy, to have enter? 
tained animofity and malignity againfl ^ch other, 
and to have rent all our acquaintances into partieSt 
vhat a noble amufement we fhould have exhibited 
$o the blockheads, if^hich now they are likely (q 
be difappointed of. A^ the people whofe friend* 
Ihip or judgment either of us value, are Aiends to 
hoihp and will be pleaf^pd with the fucceis of both^ 

OF J>AVZD HUME, £4Q. ^ If 

as we vill be with that of each other. I declare 
to you I have not, of a long .time, had a more 
fenfible pleafure than the good reception your 
Hiftory has given me within this fortnight*'' 

Mr. Hume to Dr. Robbrtsoh. 

^^ I am a^id that my letters will be tedious and 
difagreeable to you by their uniformity. Nothing 
but continued and unvaried accounts of the fame 
thing muft in the end prove difgufting. Yet fince 
you will hear me fpeak on this fubjeft, I cannot help 
it, and muil fatigue your ears, as much as ours 
are in this place by endlefs, and repeated, and 
noify praifes of the Hillory of Scotland. Dr. 
•Douglas told me yefterday, that he had feen the 
BiOiop of Norwich, who had juft bought the 
book from the high commendations he heard of it 
from Mr. Legge. Mallet told me, that Lord Mans* 
field is at a lofs, whether he (hall mod efteem the 
matter or the flyle. Elliot told me, that being in 
company with George Grenville, that gentleman 
was fpeaking loud in the fame key. Our friend 
pretended ignorance ; faid he knew the author, and 
if he thought the bogk good for any thing would- 
fend for it and read it. Send for it by all means, 
(faid Mr. GrenvilleJ you have not read a better 
book of a long time. But, faid Elliot, I fuppofe, 
although the matter may be tolerable, as the author 
was never on this fide of the Tweed till he wrote it. 
It mud be very barbarous in dMi expreifion. Bf 

1 4 *• no 

liO LI^E AND WltItIN68 

lio means, cried Mr. Gr«DvilIe, had the author 
lived all his life in London, and in the bed com- 
pany, he could not have exprefled himfelf vith 
greater elegance and purity. Lord Lyttleton feems 
to think, that (ince the time of St. Paul there 
fcarce has been a better writer than Dr. Robertfon. 
Mr. Walpole triumphs in the fucceis of his favour- 
ites the Scotch, &c. 

^^ The great fucccfs of your book, beiides iti 
real merit, is forwarded by its prudence, and by 
the deference paid to eftabliihed opinions. It gains 
alfo by its being your firft performance, and by its 
furpriling the public, who are not upon their guard 
againft it* By reafon of thefe two circumftances 
juftice is more readily done to its merit, which, 
however, is really fo great, that I believe there is 
fcarce another inflauce of a firfl performance bdn^ 
fp near perfeflion,** 

Mr. Hume to Dr. Robertson, 

" London, March 12, 1 759. 

^^ My Dear Sir, 

** I believe I mentioned to you, a French gen» 
ticman, Monfieur Helvefiusj whofe book Df 
rEJ}rit was making a great noife in Europe. He 
is a very fine genius, and has the charader of 9 
very worthy man. My name is mentioned feveral 
^|nes in hi| ' ii fnjtrks of ^eem ; and he 

^ • has 

or DAVID HUME, EV^ 12\ 

has made me an offer, if I vfonld trdnflate hk 
work into Engtifli, to tranflate anew all my philo- 
fophical writings into French. He fays, that none 
of them are well done, except that on the Natural 
Hiftory of Religion, by Monfieur Matigny, a 
counfellor of (late. He added, that the Abb6 
Prevol, celebrated for the Memoires (Pun Homrm 
d^Honneur^ and other entertaining books, was juft 
now tranflating my Hiftory* 

** This account of Helvetius engaged me to 
fend him over the new editions of all my writings j 
and I have added your Hiftory, which, I told him, 
was here publiftied with great . applaufe ; adding 
that the fubje£t was interefting^ and the execution 
mafterly ; and that it was probable fome men of 
letters at Paris may think that a tranflation of it 
would be agreeable to the public. I thought that 
this was the beft method of executing your inten- 
tions. I could not expect, that any Frenchman 
here would be equal to the work. There is one 
Carracioli, who came to me and fpoke of tranflating 
my new volume of Hiftory ; but as he alfo men- 
tioned his intentions of tranflating Smollet, I gave 
him no encouragement to proceed. The fame 
reafon would make me averfe to fee you in his 

*• But though I have given this character of your 
V^ork to Monfieur Helvetius, \ warn you that this 
\% the lafl time, that either to Pitchman or £ng- 
Puna^ I ikall ever fpeak the )Hi|||pood of it. A 



plague take j^ou! Here I fat near the hiftoricd 
fummit of Parnaflus, immediately under Dr. 
SmoUet ; and you have the impudence to iqueese 
yourfelf dire^lly under his feet. Do you imaginCt 
that this can be agreeable to me ? and mud not I 
be guilty of great (implicity to contribute by mj 
.endeavours to your thrufting me out of my place 
in Paris as well as at London ? But I give you 
warning, that you will find the matter fomewhat 
difScult, at lead in the former city. A friend of 
mine, who is there, writes home to his father the 
ilrangeft accounts on that head, which my modefty 
will not permit me to repeat, but which it allowed 
xne very delicioufly to fwallow* 

** I have got a good reafon or pretence for ex* 
cu(ing me to Monfieur Helvctius with regard to 
the tranflating his work. A Tranflation of it was 
J)revioui]ly advertifed here. 

" I remain, &c/* 

Mr. Hume to Mr. Adam ^MitH, 

£SooQ after the publication of the Theory of Mpral Sentiments.^ 

•♦ London, April 12, JJSg* 

" Dear Sir, 

** I give you thanks for the agreeable prefent of 
your Tlicory. Wedderburn and I made prefcnts 
of our copies to fuch of our acquaintances as we 
thought good judges, and proper to fpread .the 


or DAVID HUME, £S^ 123 

reputation of the book. I fent one to theDuke of 
Argyle, to Lord Littleton, Horace Walpole, Soame 
JennynSy and Burke, an Iriih gentleman, who 
wrote lately a very pretty Treatife on the Subiimc* 
Millar defired my permiffion to fend one in your 
name to Dr. Warburton» 

" I have delayed writing to yon, till 1 could 
tell you fomethlng of the fuccefs of the book, and 
could prognofticate, with fome probability, whether 
it fhould be finally damned to oblivion, or fhould 
be regiftered in the temple of immortality* 
Though it has been publifhed only a few weeks, I 
think ihere appear already fuch (Irong fyraptoros, 
that I can almofl venture to foretd its fate. It is^ 
in fhort, this ■ ■ 


** But I have been interrupted in my letter by a 
foolilh impertinent vifit of one who has lately come 
from Scotland. He tells me, that the Univerlity of 
G^gow intend to declare Rouet's office vacant, 
upon his going abroad with Lord Hope. I quedion 
pot but you will have our friend Fergufon in your 
eye, in cafe another proje£t for procuring him a 
place in the Univerfity of Edinburgh fhould £uL 
Fergufon has very much polifhed and improved his 
Treatife on Refinement*; and with fome amend* 
ments it will make an admirable book, and dilco- 
vers an elegant and a Angular genius. The £pi» 

* Publifhed afterwards under tbe tit}e of ^ An Eflaj on the 
Hiftory of Civil Society," 



goniad, I hope, will do ; but it is fomewhat up^ 
hill work. As I doubt not but you confult the 
Reviews fometimes at prefent, you will fee in the 
Critical Review a letter upon that poem ; and I 
defire you to employ your conjeftures in finding 
out the author. Let me fee a fample of your 
ikill in knowing hands by your gueffing at the 

** I am afraid of Karnes's Law Trafb. A man 
might as well think of making a fine fauce by i 
mixture of wormwood and aloes, as an agreeable 
compofition by joining metaphyfics and Scotch 
law. However, the book, I believe, has merit; 
though few people will take the pains of diving 
into it. But to return to your book, and its fuc-t 
cefs in this town, I mud tell you ■ ■ * 

** A plague of interruptions ! I ordered myfelf 
to be denied ; and yet here is one that has broke in 
upon me again. He is a man of letters, and wc 
have had a good deal of literary converfation* 
You told me, that you was curious of literary 
anecdotes, and therefore I fhall inform you of a few 
that have come to my knowledge. I believe 1 have 
mentioned to you already Helvetius's book De 
I'Efprit. It is worth your reading, not for its phi- 
lofophy, whiph I do not highly value, but for its 
agreeable compofidon. I had a letter from him a 
few days ago, wherein he tells me that my name 
was much oftener in the manufcript, but that the 
cenfor of boo^s <^t Paris obliged hlip to flrike it out, 

♦« Voltair<J ' 

Of DAVI^KVU^f S9Q. tdj 

: ^' Voltaire has lately publiihed a fmall work 
called Candida, ou l*Optimiffne. I (hall give you a 
detail of it. — But what is all this to my book, fay 
you f— -My dear Mr. Smith, have patience ; com* 
pofe yourfelf to tranquillity : Shew yourfelf a phi«? 
bfopher in practice as well as profeffion : Think 
on the emptinefs, and raflmefs, and futility of the 
common judgments of men; how little they are 
regulated by reafon in any fubjed, much more in 
philofophlcal fubjcds, which fo hx exceed the com- 
prehenfion of the vulgar. 

Nonji quid iurhida Roma^ 

Elevety accedas : examenve Improhum in tUa 
Cafligei trutina : tttc te qwtfiveru netra, 


A wife man^s kingdom is his own . bread ; or, if 
he ever looks farther, it will only be to the judg- 
ment of a k\e& few, who are free from prejudices, 
and capable of examining his work. Nothing ia- 
deed can be a itonger prefumption of falfehood 
than the approbation of the multitude; and 
Phocion, you know, always fufpefted himfelf of 
fome blunder, when he was attended with the ap«* 
plaufes of the populace. 

*• Suppofing, therefore, that you have duly pre- 
pared yourfelf for the word by all thefe refledions^ 
I proceed to tell you the melancholy news, that 
your book has been very unfortunate; for the 
public feem difpofed to applaud it extremely. It 
was looked for by the foolifli people with fome 
Unpfttieace } and the mob of literati are begiiming 

5 already 

ii6 Ltn AM0 ^vftirmoi 

already to be very loud in its pratfet. ThtM 
bifhops called yefterday at Millar's (hop in order to 
buy copies, and to a(k queftions about the authoc^. 
The Bifliop of Peterborough faid» he had paflSsd. 
tile evening in a company where he heard it ex» 
tolled above all books in riie world. The Duke of 
Argyle is more decifive than he ufes to be, in its 
favour. I fuppofe he either confiders it as an 
exotic, or thinks the aothor will be ferviceable to 
him in the Glafgow eledions. Lord Lyttleton 
lays, that Robertfon, and Smith, and Bower are 
the glories of Englifii literature. Ofwald protefts 
he does not know whether he has reaped more 
iollrudion or entertainment from it. But you 
may eafily judge what reliance can be put on his 
judgment, who has been engaged all his life in 
public bttfinefs, and who never fees any faults jn 
his friends. Millar exults and brags, that two- 
thirds of the edition are already fold, and that he 
Is now fure of fuccefs. You fee what a fon of 
the earth that is, to value books only by the pro* 
fit they bring him. It that view, I believe it ma^ 
j^te a very good book. 

** Charles Townfend, who paffes for the clevereft 
fellow in England, is fo Haken with the perform^ 
ance, that he faid to Ofwald he would put the 
Duke of Buccleugh under the author's care, and 
would make it worth his while to accept of that 
charge. As foon as I heard this, I called on him 
twice, with a view of talking with him about thf 
matter : and of convincing him of the propriety 

■ V 


o£ fending that young nobleman to Glafgow: For 
I could not hope, that he could offer you any 
terms which would tempt you to renounce your 
Profefforfliip ; but I miffed him. Mr. Townfend 
paffes for being a little uncertain in his refolu* 
tiona ; fo perhaps you need not build much ovt 
his fally. 

^' In recompence for fo many mortifying things^ 
which nothing but truth could have extorted from: 
p)e, and which I could eaiily have multiplied to a 
greater number, I doubt not but you are fo good 
a ChriRian as to return good for evil ; and to flat- 
ter my vanity by telling me,, that all the godly in 
Scotland abufe me for my account of John Knox 
and the Reformation. I fuppofe you are glad to 
fee my paper end, and that I am obliged to con* 
elude with 

" Your humble fervant, &c." 

Mr.. HuHB to Dr. Robertson. 

^ Londofl^ May 29, 1759. 

<« My Db ar Sir, 

^ I had a letter from Hdveiius lately wrote be^ 
fore your book arrived at P^ris. He tells me, 
that the Abbe Prevot, who had juft finiihed the 
tranflation of my Hiftory, JParaii trh-di/fo/f i 
iradmre PH^oire d^Ec(^(^ que vient de faire Mon^ 
Jmr Rohirtforu If he be engaged by my perfua* 


128 IXVE AND WRiriNGf 

fion, I (hall have the fatisfadion of doing you a real 
credit and pleafure; for he is one of the bed 
pens in Paris. > >' 

*^ I looked with great impatience in your new 
edition for the note you feemed to intend with re* 
gard to the breach of the capitulation of Perth ; 
and was much difappointed at miffing it* I own 
that I am very curious on that head. I cannot' fo 
much as imagine a colour upon which their accu^^ 
fations could poflibly be founded. The artic)» 
were only two ; indemnity to the inhabitants, and 
the exclufion of French foldiers— -now that Scotch 
national troops were not Frenchmen and foreigners 
feems pretty apparent : and both Knox and the 
manifeito of the congregation acquit the Queen« 
Regent of any breach of the firft article, as I had 
obferved in my ^ote to page 422. This makes me 
fufpect, that fome hOts have efcaped me ; and I 
beg you to indulge my curiofity by informing me 
of them. 

** Oar friend Smith is very fuccefsful here, and 
Gerard is very well received. The Epigoniad 1 
cannot fo much promife for, though I have done 
all in my power to forward it, particularly by 
writing a letter to the Critical Review, which yoa 
may perufe. I find, however, fome good judges 
profefs a great cfteem for it, but habert et fua fata- 
tibelU : however, if you want a little flattery 10 the , 


or DAVID HUME, E8Q. I2g 

author, (which I own is very refreihing to an au- 
thor), you may tell him, that Lord Chefterfield 
faid to me he was a great poet. I imagine, that 
Wilkie will be very much elevated by praife from 
an Englifh Earl, and a Knight of the Garter, and 
an AmbafTador, and a Secretary of State, and a 
man of fo great reputation. For, I obferve, that 
the greateft ruftics are commonly mod affedted with 
filch circumftances. 

" Fergufon's book has a great deal of genius 
and fine writing, and will appear in time." 

Thefe letters afford a noble fpecimen of genero* 
(ity on the part of Hume ; and the intimate and 
uninterrupted friendfhip between our two great 
ind immortal hiftorians is honourable to both, 
coniidering the coincidence of their labours. 

After the publication of the Hiftory of Scot^ 
land. Dr. Robertfon confulted his literary friends 
on the choice of a fubje£t for his next work. It 
is known, that he had not only tempting offers 
from the bookfellers, but confident affurances of 
the countenance of government, if he would un- 
dertake the Hiftory of England. In particular. Dr. 
John Blair, prebendary of Weftminfter, and author 
of The Chronology and Hijlory of the Worlds urged 
him to engage in it, and informed him that Lord 
Chefterfield was prepared to move in the Houfe of 
Peers, that he (hould have pubUc e^ncouragement to 

' K tnable 


enable him to execute the tafk. Lord Cathcart 
alfo wrote the Doftor, that the Earl of Bute had 
exprefled to him his Majefty's wifli to fee a Hiftory 
of England from the pen of Dr. Robertfon, and 
that every fource of information, which govern- 
ment could command, would be open to him, 
and encouragement given in proportion to the 
labour and extent of fo great an undertaking. 
His Lordfhip, in order to overcome the Doftor'g 
fcruples, pointed out likewife the difference 
in the manner and flyle of two writers like him 
and Mr. Hume, and argued that theii works 
could not interfere, as our author's had fo much' 
the ftart of the other in point of time. 

Although Dr. Robertfon had already fixed on 
the reign of Charles V., and even made fome pro* 
grefs in writing it, thefe powerful reafons, the 
flattering manner in which they were conveyed, 
and the refpeclability of the quarter from which 
they came, feem to have (lajigered his refolution. 
He began to confider, ih;u from the time which 
fuch a work would require for iis execution, little 
injury conld arife to IVIr. Ilutne. He, therefore^ 
expreffcd an inclination for the undertaking, and 
even agreed to commeiice it after completing the 
Hiftory of Chai les V, ; to accomplifti which, as 
only one-third of it was finiflied, two years would 
be neccfl'ary. " The Hidory of England,** faid 
he, " was my firft choice long bcfou Mr. Hume 
" undertook it, though 1 was then too diffident of 
^V myfelf, and too idle to make any progrefs in the 

" execution 


*' execution of it, fsirther than forming Some gene* 
^^ ml ideas as to the manner in which it ihould be 
** profecuted/* 

As to the propofed eftablifhment in his favour 
during the work, he intimated a wifli, that his 
chief refidcnce (hould ftili be in Scotland, both for 
his own fake and that of his family, as three or four 
months of an occaftonal vifit to England would be 
fully fufficient for confulting manufcripts. He did 
not want, he iaid, to drop his connexion with the 
church, but defired flill to hold fome flationin it 
without being reduced entirely to the profeffion of 
an author: at the fame time he acknowledged, 
that he had often wifhed to be freed from the labour 
of daily preaching, and to have it in his power to 
apply himfelf to his ftudies without interruption* 

In his letters to his friends the Dodor explained 
himfelf farther ; but the reafon, why he did not 
afterwards profecute the deflgn, has not been com« 
municated to the world : perhaps it was owing to 
the refignation of Lord Bute, which might have 
rendered it neceflfary to commence negociations in 
a new channel for a change of fituation* 

Among the friends whom Dr. Robertfon con« 
fulted on the fubjeft of his next work, immediately 
after the publication of the Hiftory of Scotland, 
was Mr. Hiune, whofe fentiments appear, from 
one of the following letters, to have been inimical 

K 2 to 


to hi$ undertaking' the reign of the Emperor 
Charles V. 

Mr. Hume to Dr. Robertson. 


I have frequently thought, and talked with our 
common friends upon the fubjeft of your letter* 
There always occurred to us feveral difficulties with 
regard to every fubjeft we could propofe. The 
ancient Greek hiftory has feveral recommendationSt 
particularly the good authors from which it muft be 
drawn : but this fame circumilance becomes an ob- 
jedion, when more narrowly confidered : for what 
can you do in mod places with thefe authors but 
tranfcribe and tranflate them ? No letters or ftate- 
papers firom which you could correft their errors, 
or authenticate their narration, or fupply their de- 
fefls. Befides Rollin is fo well wrote with refpefk 
to ilyle, that with fuperficial people it pafles for 

** There is one Dr. Leland, who has lately wrote 
the Life of Philip of Macedon, which is one of the 
beft periods. The book, they tell me, is perfefily 
well wrote ; yet it has had fuch fmall fale, and has 
fo little excited the attention of the public, that the 
author has reafon to think his labour thrown away. 
1 have not read the book ; but by the fize, I fhould 
judge it to be too particular. It i^ pretty large 
quarto. 1 think a book of that fize fufficient for 



the whole hiftory of Greece till the death of Philip ; 
and I doubt not but fuch a work would be fuccefs- 
ful, notwithftanding all thefe difcouraging circum- 
fiances. The fubjed is noble^ and RoUin is by no 
means equal to it. 

^^ I own, I like ftill Icfs your project of the age 
of Charles the Fifth. That fubjeft is disjointed ; 
and your hero, who is the fole connexion, is not 
very interefting. A competent knowledge, at leaft, 
is required of ^he (late and conilitution of the 
empire ; of the feveral kingdoms of Spain, of 
Italy, of the Low Countries, which it would be 
the work of half a life to acquire ; and though 
fome parts of the ftory may be entertaining, there 
would be many dry and barren ; and the whole 
leems not to have any great charms. 

^^ -But I would not willingly ftart objections to 

thefe fchemes, unlefs I had fomething to propofe, 

which would be plaufil I3 ; aqd 1 (hall mention to 

you an idea which has fometimes pleafed me, and 

which I had once entertained thoughts of attempt* 

ing. You may obferve that, among modern read. 

ers, Plutarch is in every tranflation the chief 

favourite of the ancients. Numberlefs tranflations, 

and numberlefs editions have been made of him in 

all languages, and no tranflation has been fo ill 

done as not to be fuccefsful. Though thofe who 

read the oricinals never put him in comparifon 

cither with*Thucydides or Xenophon, he. always 

K 3 attaches 


attaches more the reader in the tranilation ; a proof 
that the idea and execution of his work is, in the 
main, happy. 

^* Now, I would have you think of writing mo- 
dem lives, fomewhat after that manner: not to 
enter into a detail of the anions, but to mark the 
manners of the great pcrfonages, by domeftic 
(lories, by remarkable fayings, and by a general 
iketch of their lives and adventures. You fee, 
that, in Plutarch, the life of Caeir may be read 
in half an hour. Were you to write the life of 
Henry IV. of France after that model, you might 
pillage all the pretty (lories in Sully, and fpeak 
more of his miftrefles than of his battles. In 
fliort, you might gather the flowers of all modem 
hiftory in this manner : the remarkable Popes, the 
Kings of Sweden, the great difcoverers and con- 
querors of the new world : even the eminent men 
of letters might fumifh you with matter, and the 
quick difpatch of every oifFerent work would en- 
courage you to begin a new one. If one volume 
were fuccefsful, you might compofe another at your 
leifure, and the field is inexhauflible. There are 
perfons whom you might meet with in the corners 
of hiftory, fo to fpeak, who would be a fubjeft of 
entertainment quite unexptded; and as long as 
you live, you might give and receive amufement 
by fuch a work. Even your fon, if he had a talent 
for hiftory, would fucceed to the fubjed, and his 
fon to him. I (hall infift no farther on this idea ; 

4 becaufe. 


becaufe, if it ftrikes your fancy, you will eafily per- 
ceive all 118 advantages, and, by farther thought, 
all its difficulties." 

Mr. Hume to Dr. Robertson. 

" London, Feb. 8, 1759. 

cc • 

• ♦. As to the Jge of Leo the Tenths it was 
Warton himfelf who intended to write it, but he has 
not wrote it, and probably never will. If I wi- 
derftand your hint, I Ihould conjefture, that you 
had fome thoughts of takmg up the fubjedt. But 
how can you acquire knowledge of the great works 
of fculpture, architefture, and painting, by which 
that age was chiefly di(iingui(hed? Are you verfed 
in all the anecdotes of Italian literature ? The 
queftions I heard propofed in a company of literati^ 
when I inquired concerning this defign of Warton. 
They applied their remarks to that gentleman, who 
yet, they fay, has travelled. I wifh they do not all ^ 
of them fall more fully on you. However you 
mud not be idle. May I venture to fuggeft to you 
the ancient hiftoi7, particularly that of Greece? 
1 think Rollings fuccefs might encourage you, nor 
need you be in the leaft intimidated by his merit. 
That author has no other merit, but a certain 
facility and fweetnefs of narration j but has loaded 
his work with fifty puerilities. 

K 4 « Our 


" Our friend, Wedderburn, is advancing with 
great ftrides in his profefTion. «•**•* 

** I defire my compliments to Lord Elibank. I 

hope his Lordlhip has forgot his vow of anfwering 

us, and of wafhing Queen Mary white. I am 

afraid that is impodible ; but his Lordfliip is very 

well qualified to gild her. 

" I am, &c.'* 

During this vifit to the metropolis, our author 
feems, from a paiTage in one of the preceding 
loiters, to have had fome view of fettling in it ; 
but whether in a private or public capacity he does 
not mention. This intention, however, was re- 
linquifhed ; and in the end of 17599 or beginning 
of the next year, he returned to Edinburgh, where 
he fpent nearly two years in writing the two vo- 
lumes of the more early part of the Engliih 

In 1760, Mr. William Tytler publifhed his 
Ht/iorical and Critical Inquiry into the Evidence 
produced by the Earls of Murray and Morton again/i 
Mary ^een of Scots : With an Examination of the 
Rev. Dr. Robertfon^s Dijfertation and Mr. Hume*s 
Hijiory with refpedl to that Evidence. Mr. (after- 
wards Dr.) Alexander Gerard, then Profeflbr of 
Divinity in the Marifchal College of Aberdeen, pub- 
lifhed, in the fame year, a fermon preached before 
the fynod of Aberdeen on the 8th of April 1760, 



and intitled, The Influence of the Pajioral Office 
on the Character examined ; with a view efpecially 
to Mr. Hunters Reprefentation ofthefpirit of that Office. 
This was an attack on one of our author's Moral 
and Political Eflays : the firft edition of it was printed 
in Odober, and a fecond in the enfuing January* 
It is a Angular fad, that Hume's principal antago« 
nifts on the fubjeds of fcepticifm and religion were 
gentlemen refiding in Aberdeen. . Rdd, when he 
wrote his Inquiry into the Human Mind, was a 
Profeflbr there. Dr. Campbell, who publifhed A 
Diflfertation on the Miracles, was Principal of MariC* 
chal College, Beattie, the author of the Effay on 
Truth, was Profeflbr of Moral Philqfophy in the 
fame univerfity. Gerard, when he preached his fer- 
mon, was, as has been juft mentioned, Profeflbr of 
Divinity there ; and Dr. Duncan Shaw, when he 
publiflied his Hi (lory and Philofophy of Judaifm, 
was one of the clergymen of that city. 

The noted Mr. James Macpherfon publiflied at 
Edinburgh, in June 1760, his Fragments of 
Ancient Poetry, colle^ed in the Highlands of 
Scotland^ and tranjlated from the Gaelic or Erfe 
Language. Thefe fragments were fifteen in num- 
ber, and formed the firft fpecimen of the celebrated 
Poems of Oflian, the difpute as to the authenticity 
of which ftill engages the attention of the literary 
world. Dr. Hugh Blair communicated to the 
public his fentiments on thefe poems in his welU 
known Diflertation ; and although Mr. Hume did 
not publifli any thing on the fubjeft, the following 



letter of his to a friend will (hew the opinion he en- 
tertained refpefling them. 

" Edinburgh, Auguft i6, 1760. 

« Sir, 


I am not furprifed to find by your letter, that 
Mr. Gray (hould have entertained fufpicions with 
regard to the authenticity of thefe fragments of our 
Highland poetry. The firft time I was (hewn the 
copies of fome of them in manufcript, by our 
friend John Home, I was inclined to be a little in- 
credulous on that head ; but Mr. Home removed 
my fcruples, by informing me of thg manner in 
which he procured them from Mr. Macpherfon, 
the tranflator. 

** Thefe two gentlemen were drinking the waters 
together at Moffat laft autumn, when their conver- 
fation fell upon Highland poetry, which Mr. Mac- 
pherfon extolled very highly. Our friend, who 
knew him to be a good fcholar, and a man of tafle, 
found his curiofity excited, and afked whether he 
bad ever tranflatcd any of ihcm. Mr. Macpherfon 
replied, thiat he never had attempted any fuch 
thing; and doubted whether it was poffible to 
transfufe fuch beauties into our language; but, 
for Mr. Home's fatisfadion, and in order to give 
him a general notion of the ftrain of that wild 
poetry, he would endeavour to turn one of them 
into Englifh. He accordingly brought him one 
next day, which our friend was fo much pleafed 
with, that he never ceafed ioliciting Mr. Macpher- 


fon, till he infenfibly produced that fmall volume 
ivhich has been publiflied. 

•* After this volume was in every body's hands, 
and univerfally admired, we heard every day new 
reafons, which put the authenticity, not the great 
antiquity, the tranflator afcribes to them, beyond all 
queftion ; for their antiquity is a point, which 
muft be afcertained by reafoning ; though the ar- 
guments he employs feem very probable and con- 
vincing. But certain it is, that thefe poems are ia 
every body's mouth in the Highlands, have been 
handed down from father to fon, and are of an 
age beyond all memory and tradition. 

" In the family of every Highland chieftain, 
there was anciently retained a bard, whofe office 
was the fame with that of the Greek rhapfodifts ; 
and the general fubjedl of the poems, which they 
recited, was the wars of Fingal : an epoch no left 
celebrated among them, than the wars of Troy 
among the Greek poets. This cudom is not even 
yet altogether aboliflied : the bard and piper arc 
efteemed the moft honourable offices in a chief- 
tain's family, and thefe two charaders are fre- 
quently united in the fame perfon. Adam Smith, 
the celebrated Profeifor in Glafgow, told me that 
the piper of the Argylcfhire militia repeated to him 
all thofe poems which Mr. Macpherfon has tranf- 
lated, and many more of equal beauty. Major 
Mackay, Lord Rae's brother, alfo told me, that 
he remembers them perfedly ; as likewife did the 



Laird of Macfarlane, the greated antiquarian whom 
vft have in this country, and who infills ftrongly 
on the hidorical truth, as well as on the poetical 
beauty of thefe produ&ions. I could add the 
Laird and Lady Macleod to thefe authorities, with 
many more, if thefe were not fufficient, as they 
live in different parts of the Highlands, very rc- 
tnote from each other, and they could only be 
Sicquainted with poems that had become in a man- 
ner national works, and had gradually fpread 
themfelves into every mouth, and been imprinted 
on every memory. 

** Every body in Edinburgh is fo convinced of 
this truth, that we have endeavoured to put Mr. 
Macpherfon on a way of procuring us more of 
thefe wild flowers. He is a modefl:, fenfible young 
man, not fettled in any living, but employed as a 
private tutor in Mr. Grahame of Balgowan's fa- 
mily, a way of life which he is not fond of. We 
have, therefore, fet about a fubfcription of a 
guinea, or two guineas a-piece, in order to enable 
him to quit that family, and undertake a miiQon 
into the Highlands, where he hopes to recover 
more of thSfe fragments. There is, in particular^ 
a country furgeon fomewhere in Lochaber, who, 
he fays, can recite a great number of them, but 
never committed them to writing ; as indeed the 
orthography of the Highland language is not fixed^ 
and the natives have always employed more the 
fword than the pen. This furgeon has by heart 
. the epic poem mentioned by Mr. Macpherfon in 



his preface ; and as he is fomewhat old, and the 
only perfon living that has it entire, we are in the 
more hade to recover a monument, which will 
certainly be regarded as a curiofity in the republic 
of letters. 

** I own, that my firft and chief objeftion to 
the authenticity of thefe fragments, was not on ac- 
count of the noble and even tender ftrokes which 
they contain ; for thefe are the offspring of genius 
and pailion in all countries ; I was only furprife4 
at the regular plan which appears in fome of thefe 
pieces, and which feems to be the work of a more 
cultivated age. None of the fpecimens of barbae 
rous poetry known to us, the Hebrew, Arabian, 
or any other, cpntained this fpecies of beauty ; and 
if a regular epic poem, or even any thing of that 
kind, nearly regular, (hould alfo come from that 
rough climate or uncivilized people, it would 
appear to me a phenomenon altogether unac* 

** I remember Mr. Macpherfon told me, that 
the heroes of this Highland epic were not only 
like Homer's heroes, their own butchers, bakers, 
and cooks, but alfo their own (hoemakers, car* 
penters, and fmiths.* He mentioned an incident 
which put this matter In a remarkable light. A 
warrior has the head of his fpear ftruck off in battle ; 
upon which he immediately retires behind the army, 
where a forge was ereded, makes a new one, hur- 
ries back to the adion, pierces his enemy, while 



the iron, vhich was yet red-hot, hilTes in the 
wound. His imagery you will allow to be Angu- 
lar, and fo well imagined, that it would have been 
adopted by Homer, had the manners of the Greeks 
allowed him to have employed it. 

" I forgot to mention as another proof of the 
authenticity of thefe poems, and even of the reality 
of the adventures contained in them, that the 
names of the heroes Fingal, Ofcur, Ofur, Dcr- 
mid, are dill given in the Highlands to large 
ina(Hfis, in the fame manner as we aflix to them 
the names of Caefar, Pompey, Ilcftor, or the 
French that of Marlborough. 

" It gives me pleafure to find, that a perfon of 
fo fine a tafle as Mr. Gray approves of thefe frag- 
ments ; fo it may convince us, that our fondnefs of 
them is not altogether founded on national prepof« 
fefiions, which, however, you know to be a little 
ftrong. The tranflation is elegant ; but 1 made an 
objeftion to the author, which I wifli you would 
comtnunicaie to Mr. Gray, that we may judge of 
the juftnefs of it. There appeared to me many 
Ycrfcs ill his prole, and all of them in the fame 
meafuie with Mr. Shcnllone's famous ballad, 

*• Ye (Ixj^lurds fo carelcfs and free, 

** Whofc fl>'jks never turclcfsly roam, 5:c.** 

" Pray, alk Mr. Gray, whether he made the fame 
remark, and whether he thinks it a bleraifli ? 

" Yours, moft fincerely, &c. 






Mr. Hume publiflied at London in 1761, the 
two remaining quarto volumes of his Hiftory. 
They embrace the earlier period of our national 
annals, and he tells us, that he " gave them to the 
" public with tolerable, and but tolerable, fuccels. 
" But notwithftanding," continues he, " this variety 
of winds and feafons to which my writings had beea 
expofedjthey had ftill been making fuch advances, 
that the copy-money given me by the bookfellers 
much exceeded any thing formerly known in 
England ; I was become not only independent 
but opulent. I retired to my native country of 
*' Scotland, determined never more to fet my foot 
" out of it ; and retaining the faiisfaftion of never 
** having preferred a requeft to one great man, or 
even making advances of friendlhip to any of 
them.'* In fad, his temporal circumftances 
were now in fuch a thriving condition, that while 
he was in London, to which place he had gone to 
fupeiintend the prefs during the printing of thefc 
two volumes, he inverted a thoufand -pounds in 
the public funds. This expofcd him to innume- 
rable j(jkcs from his friends, becaufe he had been 
in the habit of declaiming loudly againft dealing in 
the Stocks ; but he repelled their railleries by 
arguing that he had bought real ilock, and was not 
a jobber. 

In March 1762, Dr. Campbell publiflied at 
Eilinburgh his Dissertation on Miracles; 
foutahihig an Excmitnation of the Principles advanced 
by David Hujix Fjq^ in an EJJliy on Miracles. This 




Diflertation was originally a fermon, which the 
Dodor, as one of the miniders of Aberdeen, 
preached there before the Provincial Synod on the 
9th October, 1760, and which, on their deHring 
him to publiHi it, he afterwards moulded into 
the form of an Kiliiy. Before fending it to the 
prefs, he fcnt a copy of the manufcript to Dr. 
Blair of Edinburgh, with a requeft, ihar, after 
perufing it, he would communicate the perform- 
ance to Mr. Hume. Blair read the Diflertation, 
both as a friend and a critic, and then fhewed it to 
our Hiftoiian, who returned it with the following 
letter : 

« Dear Sir, 

** I have perufed the ingenious performance, 
which you was fo obliging as to put into my hands, 
with all the attention poflible ; though not per- 
haps with all the ferioufnefs and gravity which you 
have fo frequently recommended to me. But the 
fault lies not in the piece, which is certainly very 
acute ; but in the fubjeft. I know you will fay, 
it lies in neither, but in myfelf alone. If that 
be fo, I am forry to fay that I believe it is in- 

*' I could wifli that your friend had not chofen 
to appear as a controverfial writer, but had endea- 
voured to eftablifli his principles in genenil, with-. 
out any reference to a particular book or perfon ; 
though I own he does me a great deal of honour, 
ill thinking that any thing 1 have wrote deferves 


QF DAVIQ |lfUMC, £8<^ I45 

bi9 ittefttioai. For befide^ uiaQy ioconveaiences 
v^hich attend that kind of writing, I fe^ it is ^1- 
mod iropoflible to preferve decency and good 
manafirs in it. This author, for inftance, fays 
iomepm^s obliging things of me much beyond 
what I caj^ prefume to deferve, and I thence con- 
clude that in g^end be did not mean to infult me ; 
yet I meet with fome other pailages more worthy of 
Warburton and his followers than of fo ingenious 
an author. 

/'^ut^ I am not apt to lofe my temper, an4 
would 0ill lefs incline tq do fo with a friend of 
yours, I (hall caknly communicate to you fome re- 
marks on the argument, (ince you feem to defire it. 
I (hall employ very few words, lince a hint will 
fufEce to a gentlemsp pf this author's penetratioiu 

" Sect. I. I would defire the author to confi- 
der, whether the medium, by which we reafon 
concerning human teftimony, be different from 
th^t which leads us to draw any inferences con- 
cerning other hi;man adions ; that is,* our know« 
ledge of human nature from experience ? Or why 
it is diff<^ci^^ ? I fuppofe we conclude an hbneft 
i:pan will not lie to us, in the fame manner as we 
conclude that he will not cheat us. ^ As to the 
youthful propenfity to believe, which is correfted 
by experience; it feems obvious that children adopt 
blindfold all the opinions, principles, fentiments, 
and paffions of their elders, as well as credit their 

L teftimony: 


teftimony : nor is this more ftrange than that a 
hammer fhould make an impreilion on clay. 

** Sect. II. No man can have any other ex- 
perience but his own. The experience of others 
becomes his only by the credit which he gives to 
their teftimony ; which proceeds from his own ex- 
perience of human nature. 

** Sect. III. There is no contradidion in fay- 
ing, that all the teftimony, which ever ^'as really 
given for any riiiracle, or ever will be given, is a 
fubjed of derifion ; and yet forming a fi&ion or 
fuppofition of a teftimony for a particular miracle, 
which might not only merit attention, but amount 
to a full proof of it. For inftance, the abfence of 
the fun during 48 hours; but reafonable men 
would only conclude from this fad, that the 
'machine of the globe was difordered during the 

" Page a 8. I find no difficulty to explain my 
meaning, and yet fhall not probably do it in any 
future edition. The proof again ft a miracle, as it 
is founded on invariable experience, is of that 
/pedes or kind of proof, which is full and certain 
when taken alone ; becaufe it implies no doubt, as 
is rhe cafe with all probabilities ; but there are de- 
grees of this fpecies, and when a weaker proof 
is oppofed to a ftronger, it is overcome. 




** Page 39, lliere is very little more delicacy 
in telling a^ man^ he fpeaks nonfenfe by implication 
than in Taying fo dire£tly. 

" Sect, IV. Does a man of fenfe run after 
every filly tale of witches, or hobgoblins, or fairies, 
Imd ctovafs paitkulaHy the evidence? I never 
knew any one that examined and deliberated about 
nonfenfe, who did not believe it before the end of 
his inquiries. 

" Sect. V. I wonder the author does not per- 
ccive the reafon, why Mr. John Knox and Mr. 
Alexander Henderfon did not work as many mira- 
cles as their brethren in other churches. Miracle- 
working was a popifli trick, and-difcarded with the 
other parts of that religion. Men muft have new 
and oppofite ways of eftablifliing new and oppofite 
follies. The fame reafon extends to Mahomet. 
The Greek priefts, who were in the neighbour- 
hood of Arabia, and many of them in it, were as 
great miracle-workers as the Romifh ; and Maho- 
met would have been laughed at for fo ftale and 
fimple a devicet To cad out devils, and cure the 
blind, where every one almoft can do as much, 
h not the way to gee any extraordinary afcendant 
over men. I never read of a miracle in my life, 
that was not meant to eftablifli fome new point of 
religion. There are no miracles wrought in 
Spain to prove the Gbfpel ; but St. Francis Xavier 
wrought a thoufand well-attefted ones for that pur- 
pofe in the Indies. -The miracles in Spain, which 

L % ari: 


sM^e alfo fully and completely attefted, are wrought to 
prove the efficacy of a particular crudfiz or relic, 
which 18 always a new point, or at lead not uni- 
verfally received. 

^* S£CT. VL If a miracle proves a dodrine to 
be revealed from God, and confequently true, a 
miracle can never be wrought for ^ contrary doc- 
trine. The fa&s are, therefore, as incompatible 
as the do£trine8. 

^* I could wifli your friend had not denominated 
me an infidel writer on account of ten or twelve 
pages, which feem to him to have that tendency, 
while I have wrote fo many volumes on hiftory, 
literature, politics, trade, morals, which^ in that 
particular at leaft, are entirely inoSenfive. Is a 
man to be called a drunkard, becaufe he has beca 
feen fuddled once in his lifetime ? 

*' Having faid fo much to your friend, who is 
certainly a very ingenious man, though a little too 
zealous for a philofopher, permit me alfo the free- 
dom of faying a word to yourfelf. Whenever I 
have had the pleafure to be in your company, if 
the difcourfe turned upon any common fubjeft of 
literature or reafoning, I always parted from you 
both entertained and inftrudoj. But when the 
converfation was diverted by you from this channel 
towards the fubjedt of your profeilion ; though \ 
doubt not but your intentions were very friendly 
towards me, 1 own I never received the fame iatis- 



&dion : I was apt to be dred^ and you to be angry. 
i would, therefore, wHh, for the future, wherever 
my good fortune throws me in your way, that 
thefe topics fhould be forbom between us. 1 have 
long fince done with all inquiries on fuch fubje&s, 
and am become hicapable of ihftrudion ; though I 
own no one is more capable of conveying ft than 

*' After having given you the liberty of com- 
municating to your friend what part of this letter 

you think proper^ 

** I remain, Sir." 

On receiving this letter, Df. BUdr communi- 
cated to Prfhcipal Campbell not only what had 
Occurred to himfelf, but alfo the obftrvations of 
Mr. Hume. Dr. Campbell, on his part, ex- 
punged or foftened any expreflion, which was ei- 
ther fevere, or fuppofed to be oflFenfive ; and avail- 
ing himfelf of the remarks both of his friend and 
his opponent, endeavouied to obviate every ob- 
jeSion which had been made to his arguments. 
Thus cotTe£ted and improved, the Differtation was 
font to the prefs} but before publUhing it, he 
fent a copy to Hume, who wrote him as follows : 

•* Jaotiarr 7, 1 y6i. 

" DtAWL StR, 

^^ It hds fo feldom happened that controvet (ies in 
{Aulofophy, much more in thboh^f have been 

I»3 carried 


carried on without producing a perfonal : quarrd 
between the parties, that I mud regard my prefent 
fituation as fomewhat extraordinary, who have 
reafon to give you thanks for the civil and obliging 
manner, in which you have condu£led the difpute 
againft me, on fo interefting a fubjeft as that of 
miracles. Any little fymptoms of vehemence^ of 
which I formerly ufed the freedom to complain^ 
when you favoured me with a fight of the manu- 
fcript, are either removed or explained away,- or 
atoned for by civilities, which are far beyond whait 
I have any title to pretend to. It will be liaturri 
for you to imagine, that 1 will fall upon fome (hift 
to evade the force of your arguments, and to retain 
my former opinion in the point controverted )be- 
tween us ; but it is impoffible for- me not to fee the 
ingenuity of your performance, Wid the.. great 
learning which you have difplayed againft xa& . 

*' I confider myfelf as very much honoured in 
being thought worthy of an anfwer by a perfon of 
fo much merit ; and as I find, that the public doeg 
.you judice with regard to the ingenuity and good 
compofition of your piece, I hope you will have 
jio reafon to repent engaging with an antagonift, 
whom perhaps, in flridnefs, you might have ven- 
tured to negleft. I own to you, that I never felt 
fo violent an inclination to defend myfelf as at pre- 
fent, when I am thus fairly challenged by you, 
and I think I could find fomething fpecious at 
leaft to urge in my defence ; but as I had fixed 
a refolution, in the beginning of my life, always to 



leave the public to j^dgt between my adverfaries 
and me, without makipg any reply, I muft adhere 
inviolably to this refolution, otherwife my filence 
on any future occafion would be conftrued ^n in- 
ability to anfwer, and would be matter of • triumph 
againft me. . 

^* It may, perhaps:, amufe you to learn the firft 
hint, which fuggefted to me that argument, which 
you have fo ftrenuouily attacked. I was walking 
in tlie clo'ftera of th^ Jcfuits' College of La T5!leche, 
a town in which I pafled two years of iny youth, 
and engaged in a converfation with a Jefuit of fome 
parts and learning, who was relating to me, and 
urging fdtae nonfenfical miracle performed lately 
in their convent, when I was tempted to difpute 
againft him; and as my head was full of the 
topics of my Treatife of Human Nature, which I 
was at that time compofing, this argument imme- 
diately occurred to me, and I thought it very 
much gravelled my companion; but at laft heob- 
ferved to me, that it was impoflible for that argu- 
ment to have any folidity, becaufe it operated 
equally againft the Gofpel as the Catholic mira- 
cles ;-^which obfervation I thought proper to ad- 
mit as a fuf&cient anfwer. I believe you will 
allow, that the freedom at leaft of this reafoning 
makes it fomewhat extraordinary to have been the 
produce of a convent of Jefuits ; though perhaps 
you may think the fophiftry of it favours plaiuly ' 
of the place of its buth. 

L 4 « I beg 


^ I beg my cDnipIi»eiits to Mh. CampbeH, tad 
am with great regard. Sir, Uc.*^ 

Being now turned of fi(ty years 4f age, our 
author thought only of palling the refidue of im 
life in philofophic retirement and literaiy purfuilB 
at Edinburgh, when he received a very flattering 
invitation from the' Earl of Hertford, with whom 
he was not in the leaft acquainted, to attend hiai 
on his embafly to the court of France, and, in the 
meanwhile, to ad as lecretary* This ofier, how- 
ever, he declined, •* both," fays he, ** becaufe I 
was reludant to b^in €onne£IJons with dut 
great, and becaufe I was afraid, that th( 
^^ civilities and gay company of Paris wduld prove 
difagreeable to a perfon of my age and humdur $ 
but on his Lordfliip's repeating the invitadon, 1 
accepted of it. I have every reafon, both of 
pleafure and intereft, to think myfelf happy in 
'' my connexions with that jiobleman, as well as 
** afterwards with his brother. General Conway. ** 

In December 1763, a penfion of 200/. a-yeal: 
was fettled on him by the intereft of I.ord Hen- 
ford. His friend, John Home, having been obliged 
to refign his cure for the crime of being the au- 
thor of the tragedy of Douglas, obtained, in 1761, 
a penfion of 300 /. per annum from his M ajefty. 
Dr. Robertfon, who had been made Principal of 
the Univerfity in 1762, and one of his Majefty's 
chaplains in the year preceding, was appointed, 
in the month of Auguft 1763, Hiftoriographer 



OP BATU) HCMJE, £S<^ |[55 

for Soodauid with a fahry foir Ufe tff 160 /• t>er 
annum. This office was reeved ibr the eiq^refs 
piirpr>fe of befriending the Dodor. The lad: perfon 
t^bb held it was Mr. David Cratt^rd of Drumfay, 
by a commiffion from Queen Anne in 1 704, with 
a falary of 40 /• a-year. 

Lord KameSf Hume's fellow fufferet* under ec« 
clefiaftical intolerance, was, in the month of May 
1763, nominated a Lord of Judiciary in the room 
of Sir Gilbert Elliot ; and even Mallet partook of 
this flow of good fortune in favour of liberal opU 
nions^ for, in February that year, he was appointed 
keeper of the books, in which entries are made of 
all (hips coming into the port of London. It is 
however a lamentable drawback on the gtoeroflty 
of the dtnts, that Peter Annet, the famous deill, 
was fentenced for his fcepticifm to ftand on the 
pillory at Chiring Crofs, and the Royal Ex- 

At Paris, the gens de letfres are certainly in more 
eftxmation than in any other part of the worid; 
and the welcome which Mr. Hume experienced, 
was, according to his own account, peculiarly gra« 
tifying to a man of his eafy and focial difpolition. 
*• Thofe,** fays he, " who have not feen the 
^* ftrange cflfeft of modes, will never imagine the 
•* reception I met with at Paris from men and 
** women of all ranks and ftations. The more I 
** refiled from their excefiive civilities, the more I 
^ was loaded with them. TTiere is, however, a 

7 ** real 


real fatisfafiion in living at Paris, from the great 

, ** number of fenfible, knowing, and polite com^ 

^^ pany, with which that city abounds above all 

*' places in the univerfe. I thought once of feC- 

" tling there for life/* 

His letters to his friends at this time bear cvi- 
dence of the felicity of his fituatioii in the French 


Mr. Hume to Dr. Robertson* 

«« Paris, Dec. r, 1763. 

" Dear Robertson, 

Among other agreeable circumftances, which 
attend me at Paris, I mufl mention that of having 
a lady for a tranflator, a woman of merit, the 
widow of an Advocate. She was before very poor^ 
and known but to few ; but this work has got her 
reputation, and procured her a penfion from the 
court, which fets her at her eafe. She tells me, 
that (he has got a habit of induftry; and would 
continue, if I could point out to her any other 
Englifli book ihe could undertake, without run^ 
ning the riik of being anticipated by any other 
tranflator. Your Hiftory of Scotland is tranflated, 
and is in the prefs ; but I recommended to her jour 
Hiftory of Charles V., and promifed to write to 
you, in order to know when it would be printed, 
and to defire you to fend over the fheets from Lon- 


-dbnr as they come from the prefs ; I ihould put 
them into her hands, and (he would by that means 
have the ftart of every other tranllator. My two 
volumes laft publifhed are, at preTent, in the preis. 
She has a very eafy natural ftyle : fometimes (he 
miftakes the fenfe; but I now corred her manu- 
fcript, and fhould be happy to render you the 
fame fervice, if my leifure permit me, as I hope it 

•' Do you a(k me about my courfe of life ? t 
tan only fay, that I eat nothing but ambrofia, 
drink nothing but neftar, breathe nothing but in- 
cenfe, and tread on nothing but flowers. Every 
man I meet, and ftill more, every lady, would 
think they were wanting in the moft indifpenfable 
duty^ if they did not make a long and elaborate 
harangue in my praife. What happened laft week, 
when' I had the honour of being prefented to thfe 

D ^h's children at Verfailles, is one of this 

moft curious fcenes I have yet paffed through. 
The Due de B. the eldeft, a boy of ten years old, 
ftepped forth, arid told me how many friends and 
admirers I had in this country, and that he rec- 
koned himfelf in the number, from the pleafui^ 
he had received from the reading of many paflages 
in my works. When he had finiflied, his brother, 
the Count de P. who is two years younger, began 
his difcourfe, and informed, that I had been long 
and impatiently expcfked in France ; and that he 
himfelf expefted foon to have great fatisfadion 
from the reading of my fine Hiftory, But what 



is m6re ctnious : when I was carried tfaeftce te the 
Count d'A* who is but four years of age, I heard 
him mumble fomething, which, though he had 
forgot it in the way, I conjedured from fome fcat- 
tered words, to have been alfo a panegyric didated 
to him. Nothing could more furprife my finends^ 
the Parifian phiiofophers, than this incident. 

< # 

* * It is conjedured, that this honour was paid 
me by exprels order from the D. who, indeed, is 
not, on any occaiion, fparing in my praife. 

*' All this attention and panegyric was at firft op- 
preffive to me } but now it fits more eafy. I hare 
recovered, in fome meafure, the ufe of the lan- 
guage, and am falling into friendihips which are 
Tery agreeable ; much more fo than filly, diftant 
admiration. They now begin to banter me, and 
tell droll (lories of me, which they have either 
obferved themfelves, or have heard from others; 
fo that you fee I am beginning to be at home. It 
is probable, that this place will be long my home. 
I feel little inclination to the fadious barbarians of 
London ; and have ever defired to remain in the 
place where I am planted. How much more fo» 
when it is the befl; place in the world ? I could 
here live in great abundance on the half of my in« 
come ; for there is no place where money is fo 
little requifite to a man who is diftingui&ed either 
by his birth or by perfonal qualities. I could run 



out, you fee, in a panegyric on the people ; but 
you would fufped, that this was a mutual convene 
lion between us. However I cannot forbear ob- 
ferving on what a different footing learning and thei 
learned are here, from what they are among the 
£idious barbarisM^ above mentioned. 

^^ I have here met with a prodigioua hiQx>ricaI 
curioiity, the Memoirs of King James IL in fojur-^ 
teen volumes, all wrote with his ovnn^ hand^ azi4 
li:ept in the Scots college* I have looked wto it, 
and have made great difcoveries. It will be all 
communicated to me : and I have had an offer of 
accefs to the Secretary of State's oiEce, if I want 
to know the difpatches of any French minifter that 
reilded in London* But the;{is; niatters are much 
out of my head* I beg of you to vifit Lord 
Marifchal, who will be pleaied with your coinp;any« 
1 have little pi^tpier remainmg, and lels time ; and 
therefore conclude abruptly, by aifiuing you that 
I am, dear Do&or, your's fmcerely, &c«" 

Mr. Hume's expedation of being appointed 
Secretary to the embaffy was very foon realized^ 
In fummer 1765, the viceroyalty of Ireland was 
given to Lord Hertfoi:d« and ,on bis departure from 
Paris, Hume officiated as charge cTqffaires until the 
arrival of the Duke of Richmond in the end of 
the year. In the begiiining of 1766, our author 
left France, and returned to England, where an 
incident happened which he has not thought proper 
to notice in hia own biographic narrative, but 



which engrofled the public attention- at the time, 
ind was certainly one of the moft important oc- 
currences in his life. We allude to his unfortunate 
difpute with Jean- Jacques RouiTeau. 

In 1762, the parliament of Paris iflued an arret 
againft RoufTeau, on account of his Emilius, which 
had given offence to the ecclefiaftical order, Hume 
ti^as then at Edinburgh, where he received a letter 
from a friend at Paris, informing him that Rouffeau 
intended to feek an afylum in England, and defir- 
ing our hiftorian to do him all the good offices in 
his power. Mr. Hume believing that RoufTeau 
had already put his defign in execution, wrote to 
feveral of his friends in London, and warmly re- 
commended this celebrated exile to their favour. 
He alfo wrote to Rouffeau himfelf, affuring him of 
his defire to ferve him, and inviting him to come 
to Edinburgh, and refide in his own houfe as long 
as he, RoufTeau, fhould pleafe to continue. No 
other motive, fays Mr. Hume in a pamphlet^ which 
he publiflied in French on this affair*, — ^^ 4l other 

motive was wanting to incite me to this ad of 

humanity, than the account given me of M. 

Rouffeau^s perfonal charafter by the friend who 
** had recommended him ; — his well known genius 
" and abilities, and above all, his misfortunes." 

To this letter RoufTeau returned the following 
anfwer : 

• Sec Appendix, No. IIL 

7 «« Moticn« 


09 DAVID HUME, BSQ^, 1 59 

" Moticrs-TraTcrs, Feb. 19, I/63. 

" Sir, 

^^ I did not receive till lately, and at this place, 
the letter you did me the honour to dired to me at 
London, the 2d of July laft, on the fuppofition 
that I was then in that capital. I ihould doubtlefs 
have made choice of a retreat in your country, 
and as near as poflible to yourfelf, if I. had fore- 
feen what a reception I was to meet with in my 
own. There was no other nation I could prefer to 
England. And this prepofleflion for which I have 
dearly fufiered was, at that time, very excufable ; 
but to my great aftonifliment, as well as that of 
the public, I have met with nothing but afironts 
and infults, where I hoped to have found confola* 
tion, if hot gratitude. How many things make 
me regret the want of that afylum and philofophicai 
hofpitality I ihould hive found with you ! My- mis- 
fortunes, indeed, have conftantly feemed to lead 
me in a manner that way. The protedion and 
kinddiP' of Lord Marifchal, your worthy and 
illuftrious countryman, have brought Scotland 
home to me, if I may fo exprefs myfelf, in the 
midft of Switzerland ; he has made you fo often 
bear a part in our converfation ; he has brought me 
fo well acquainted with your virtues, while I before 
was only with your talents ; he has infpired me 
with the moft tender friendfliip for you, and the 
mod ardent defire of obtaining yours, before I 
knew you were difpofed to grant it. Judge - then 
of the pleafure I feely at finding this inclination 



reciprocal. No, Sir, I ihould pay your merit but 
half its due, if it were the fubjed pnly of my ad- 
miration. Your great views, your aftoniihifig im- 
partiality, your genius would lift you &r adx)ve 
the reft of mankind, if you were lefs attached to 
than by the goodnefs of your heart* My Lord 
Mavifchal, in acquainting me that the amiableneiiB 
of your difpofitbn was ftill greater than the fubU- 
mity of your genius, rendered a correfpoadence 
with you every day more defirable, and cherilhed 
in me thofe wiflieg which he infpired, of eoding 
my days near yqu« Ob» Sir, that a better fiate 
of health, and more convenient circumfiaaces,* 
would but enable me tq take fuch a journey in the 
manner I could like ! Could I but hope to lee you 
and Lord Mkrifchal one day fettled in your cobv- 
mon country, which (hould for ever after be minCj 
I (hould be thankful, ip So agreeable a fociety^ for 
the very Qusfortune^ that led me into it, and (houkl 
account the day of its commencement as the firft 
of my life. Would to heaven I might fee thai 
happy day more to be deiired than e|||||pded:! 
With what tranfports (hould I not exclsum, on 
fetting foot in that happy , country which gave 
birth to David Hume and the Lord Marifichal of 

** Salve, facts mihi dcbita tellui ! 
** Hxc domus, haec patria eft.** 

RouiTeau was afterwards obliged to fly fron 
Motiers to avoid being ftoned by the populace^ 
who(e religious zeal he had offended. He ckofe 



the ifle of St. Peter in the midfl; of the Lake of 
Bienne for the place of his retreat ; and in a work 
intitled, Les Reveries du Promeneur Solitaire ♦, 
he has introduced an interefling defcription of that 
iiland. His caprices again expofed him to the 
popular indignation^ and be was ordered by their 
excellencies the Syndics or Magiftrates to leave 
the country : he accordingly withdrew to Straf- 

From the date of the preceding letter, all cor- 
refpondence ceafed between Hume ancl Roufleau 
till about the middle of autumn 1765, when tc 
was renewed by the following accident. The 
Marchionefs de VerdeUn happened to bci on a jour- 
ney to one of the provinces bordering 01^ Switzer- 
land; and being acquainted with Roufleau, fiiie 
took the opportunity of paying a vifit to hiiP iu 
bis retreat at Motierg-Travers, Ht^ <;on>pl4ined to 
the Marchionefs, that his refidence at Neufcbat^ 
was become extremely difagreeable, as well on 
accQi^ of the fu perdition of the people, as the 
refentment of the clergy } and exprelTed his fear, 
that he ihould ihoitly be und^r the nteceflity of 
feeking an alylum eUewhere ; in which cafe £Qg- 
land appeared tp tvim to be the niof^ eligible place 
he could retire to with p^rfeft fecurity. He added, 
that his friend Lord Marifchal had ad^'ifed hioEi to 
put himfelf under Mr. Hume's prote&ioR^ and 
that if t^ did not think il would have b^en giving 

f CiiM)ttieine pronwiHuk* 

M the 


the latter too much* trouble, he would have already 
addreiTed him on the fubje6t« 

Hume, who was then chargi (T affaires at P^ris, 
but had a profped of foon returning to England, 
immediately wrote to RouiTeau, and made him an 
effer of his fervices. To this letter he received the 
following anfwer : 

'* Strafbufgh, Dec. 4, i7<5c. 

« Sir, 

^' Tour goodnefs aifeds me as much as it does 
me honour, llie bed reply I can make to yonr 
oflfers is to accept them, which I do. I ihall fee 
cut in five or fix days to throw myfelf into your 
arms. It is the advice of my Lord Marifchal, my 
protestor, friend, and father : it is the advice alfo 
of Madame ^ * * t, whofe good fenfe and benevo^ 
lence ferve equally for my direction and confola^ 
tion ; in fine, I may fay it is the advice of my own 
heart, which takes a pleafure in being indebted to 
the mod illuftrious of nly contemporarl|| to a 
•man whpfe goodnefs furpafTes his glory. I figfa 
•for a folitary and free retirement, where I may 
finiih my days in peace. If this be procured me 
by means of your benevolent folicitude, I fhatl 
then enjoy at once the only good my heart de* 
fires, and the pleafure of being indebted for it 
to you. 

" I am. Sir, with all my heart, &€.*• 

f Mdf* the Marchionefs de Verdelin. 



RoufTeau having obtained a paflport by the aid of 
his friends, repaired to Paris, and afterwards ac- 
companied Mr. Hume to England. Many were 
the plans devifed for obtaining a comfortable red* 
dence for him after his arrival, fome of which are 
detailed in the Expofe inferted in the Appendix. 
" For upwards of two months," fays Hume, " I 
employed myfelf and my friends, in looking out 
for a fituation which might be agreeable to him. 
We gave way to all his caprices, excufed all his 
fmgularities, indulged him in* all his humours; 
in (horr, neither time nor trouble was fpared to 
procure him what be defired ; and although he 
rejeded mod of the projeds I had formed fpr his 
eftabliihment, I thought myfelf fufficlently recom* 
penfed for my trouble, by the gratitude, and even 
affection with which he appeared to repay my 

Mr. Davenport, a gentleman of family, fortune, 
and worth, bad a houfe at Wooton, in the county 
of Q|rby, where he hlmfeif fcldom redded. 
This houfe he offered to Roufieau, who finally 
agreed to live there at a very moderate board. 

On his arrival at Wooton he wrote to Mr. Hume 
the following letter : 

*« Wooton, March i2, 1766. 

^^ You fee already, my dear patFon, by the date 
of my letter, that I am arrived at the place of my 
deftination} but you cannot Cm all the charms 

Ma which 


i\hich I find in it ; to do this, you fliould be ac- 
quainted with the fituation, and be able to read 
ttiy heart. You ought, however, to read there my 
fentiments with refpeft to you, fentiments which 
you have fo well deferved. It 1 live in this agree- 
able afylum as happy as I hope to do, one of the 
greateft plcafures of my life will be, to refleft that 
I owe it to you. To niakc another happy is to 
deferve to be happy one's ftlf. May you, there- 
fore, find in yourfelf the reward of all you have 
done for me! Alone, I might perhaps have met 
with hofpitality, but I fhould never have reliflied 
It fo highly as 1 now do, in owinj; it to your 
friendfhip. Retain ftill that friendfhip for me, 
my dear patron ; love me for my fake, who am fo 
much indebted to you ; love me for your own, 
for the good you have done me. I am fenfible of 
the full value of your finccre friendlhip : I ardently 
wifli it : I am ready to repay it with all mine, and 
feel fomething in my heart which may one day 
convince you that it is not without its value. As, 
for the reafons agreed on between us, I (tlllfL re- 
ceive nothing by the poft, I befeech you, when 
you have the goodnefs to write to me, to fend your 
letters to^ Mr. Davenport. The affair of the car- 
riage is not yet adjufted, becaufe I know I was 
impofed on ; it is a trifling fault, however, which 
may be only the effed of an obliging vanity, un- 
lefs it fliould happen to be repeated. If you were 
concerned in it, I would advife you to ghre up, 
once for all, thefe little impofitions, which cannot 
proceed from any good motive, when conifertcs^ 



into fnares for fimplicity, I embrace you, my dear 
patron, with the fame cordiality I hope to find in 

Some days aftenvards Mr. *Hume received 
another letter from Rouffeau, as follows : 

•' Wooton, March 29, 1766. 

" You will fee^ my dear patron, by the letter 
which Mr. Davenport will have tranfitiitted you, 
how I find myfelf fituated in this place, according 
to my wi(bes* I might, perhaps, be more at my 
eafe if I were lefs noticed ; but the folicitude of fo 
polite a hod as mine is too obliging to give offence $ 
and as every thing in life is mingled with inconve* 
nience, that of being too good is one of thofe 
which is the mod tolerable. I find a much grater 
inconvenience in not being able to make the fer- 
vants underftand me, and particularly in my not 
underftanding a word of what they fay. Luckiiy 
Madeftoifelle le Vaffeur ferves me as interpreter, 
and her fingers fpeak better than my tongue. 
There is one advantage^ however, attending my 
ignorance, which is a kind of compenfation ; it 
ferves to tire and keep at a diftance impertinexit 
vifitors. The miniftcr of the pai ifh came to ' foe 
me yefterday, who, finding that I fpdce to him 
only ia French, would not fpeak to me in Engliih, 
fo that our interview was almafl without the inter* 
change of a word. I have taken a fancy to this 
expeiicnti and" (faaU make ufe of it with all my 

M3 neigh- 


neighbours, if I have any. Nay, if I ihould learn 
to fpeak Englifh, I will converfe with them only 
in French, efpecially if I were fo happy as to find 
they did not underftand a word of that language. 
I^ is an artifice mucK of the fame kind with that 
which the negroes fay tjie monkeys pra^e, who, 
though they are capable of fpeech, will not be pre- 
Tail^ed upon to talk, led they fiiould be fet to 

^ It is by no means true, that I agreed to ac« 
cept of a model from Mr. Goflet as a prefent. Oa 
the contrary, I aiked him the price, which he told 
ine was a guinea and a half, adding that he intend- 
ed to prefent me with it ; an offer I did not ac- 
cept. I beg of you, therefore, to pay him for it, 
and Mr. Davenport will be fo good as repay you the 
money* If Mn Goflet does not confent to this, it 
mufl be returned to him, and purchafed by fome 
other hand. It is defigned by M. da Peyrou, who 
long fince defired to have my portrait, and caufed 
one to be painted in miniature, which is noi at all 
like me. You were more fortunate in this refpeft 
than he, but I am forry that, by your afCduity to 
ferve me, you deprive me of the pleafure of dif- 
charging the fame friendly obligation with regard 
to yourfelf. Be fo good, my dear patron, as to 
order the model to be fent to Meffrs. Guinand an4 
Hankey, Little St. Helen's, Bifhopfgate-flreet, in 
order to be tranfmitted to M. du Peyrou by the firft 
iafe conveyance. It has been a froft ever fince I 
jiave been here : the fiiow falls d^y, and tbi^wjnd 


is cutting and feyere ; notwithftanding all which 
I had rather lodge in the hollow trunk of an old 
tree, in this country, than in the mofl; fuperb 
apartment in London. Good day, my dear patron. 
I embrace you with all my heart/' 

When it was firft propofed, that RouiTeau 
fliould take up his refidence in Britain, it was 
"alfo in view with his friends to procure a penfion 
of looA a*year to him from his Majefty ; but the 
arrangement of this was likely to be much imped- 
ed by the peculiar fenfibility of Roufleau's temper. 
As Hume and he were converfing together oAe 
evening at Calais, where they were detained on 
their way to England by contrary winds, our hif- 
torian afked him, if he would accept of a penfion 
from the king in cafe his Majefty fliouId grant it. 
He replied, that it was a matter of fome difficulty 
to refolve on ; but that he would be entirely guided 
by the advice of Lord Marifchal. 

Encouraged by this anfwer, Hume, immediately 
on his arrival in London, ftated the matter to his 
Majefty's minifters, and particularly to General 
Conway, Secretary of State, and General Graeme, 
Secretary and Chamberlain to the Queen. Appli- 
cation was accordingly made to their Majefties, 
who readily aflented, on condidon that the tranfac* 
tion ihottld not be made public. The reafon of 
this flipalation was, that thefe great peribnages did 
not chufe to appear publicly to countei^uice the 
autli^ of obnoxious writings. Hume afterwards 

M4 wrote 


wrote to Lord Marifchal, to whom Rouffeau alfo 
wrote, and expreiTed himfelf highly pleafed with 
the conditional article of fecrecy. Lord Marifchal, as 
it will eafily be fuppofed, fent his approbation, and 
Rouflfeau fet out for Wooton, the completion of 
the affair being retarded by the indifpofition of Ger 
neral Conway. 

" In the mean time," obfervcs Mr. Hume, " I 
began to be afraid, from what I had obferved of 
M. RouiTeau's difpofition and charntter, that his 
natural reftleflfnefs of mind would prevent hit 
enjoying that repofe, to which the hofpitality and 
fecurity he found in England invited him. I faw 
with infinite regret^ that he was born for ftornu 
and tumults, and that the difguft which might fuc* 
ceed the peaceful enjoyment of folitude and traor 
quillity, would foon render him a burden to hirtb- 
felf and every body about him. But as I lived at the 
diflance of a hundred and fiftv miles from the 
place of his refidence, and was conflantly employ^ 
ed in doing him good offices, I did* not expe£l 
that I myfelf (hould be the vidtim of this unhappy 

The late Lord Orford> better known as Horace 
Walpctc, happened to be at Paris, while Hume . 
refided there ; and his turn for pleafantry led hini 
to ef^iercife it at the expence of poor RoufTeau, io 
file following letter written in the name of the King 

« My 

OP DAyiD HUME, *C8Qt I69 

^^ My Dear Jean Jagopies, 

*^ You have renounced Geneva, your native land* 

You have bee^ driven from Switzerland, a coinw 

try of which you have made fuch boaft in your 

writings. In France you are outlawed : come 

then to me. I admire ypur talents:, and amufe my^ 

felf with your reveries; on which, however, by 

the way, you beftow top much time and attention* 

(t is high time to grow prudent and happy : you 

have made yourf^lf fufEciently talked of for frngu- 

laritics little becoming a truly great man: (how 

your enemies that you have fometimes common 

lenfe: this will vex them without hurting you. 

My dominions offer you a peaceful retreat : I am 

defirous to do you good, and will do it, if you can 

but think it fuch. But if you are obftinate in re* 

fufing my afliftance, you may expeft that I (hall 

lay not a word about it to any one. If you perfift 

in perplexing your brains to find out new misfor^^ 

tunes, chufe fuch as you like bed : I am a King, 

and can make you as miferable as you can wifli ; 

and, what your enemies certainly never will, I will 

ceafe to perfecute you, when you are no longer 

vain of perfecutiqn. 

" Your fincere friend, 

*' Frederick/* 

Although this letter had been written three weeks 
\>^fB0 the departure qf the twp phiblbphers, from 

3 the 

iy6 ' LIFE AND WRIT1N05 

the French capital, its author, out of regard to 
Hume, concealed it from him, although they lodg- 
ed in the fame hotel. Walpole afterwards fhowed 
it to his friends, and copies of it being taken, the 
epiftle was handed about and fpread over Europe. 
••It was" fays Hume, " in every body's bands when 
I faw it, for the (irft time, in London. I believe 
every one, who knows any thing of the liberty 
of this country, will allow that fuch a piece of 
raillery could not even by the utmoft influence of 
King, Lords, and Commons, by all the authority 
ecclefiadical, civil, an$i military, be kept from find* 
ing its way to the prefs." 

It was accordingly publifhed in the St. James's 
Chronicle, and a few days afterwards the follow- 
ing pie ce appeared in the fame paper. 

* ■ 
M. Rousseau to the Author of the St. James's 


" WootoD» April 7^ 1766. 

" Sir, 
•* You have been wanting in that refped which 
every private perfon owes to crowned heads,. ia 
publicly afcribing to the king of Pruflia a letter 
full of extravagance and bafenefe ; by which cir* 
cumflance alone you might be very well afliired 
he could not be the author. You have even dar- 
ed to fubfcribe his name, as if you bad feen him 
write it with his own hand. I tnfona you, Sir^ 
that that letter was fabricated at Paris ; and»|||Piai 



rends and affli£^8 my heart, the impoftor has his 
accomplices in England. 

*^ In juftice to the )ung of Pruflia, to truth, 
and to myfelf, you ought therefore to print the 
letter I now write you, and to which V £et my 
name ; by way of reparation for a fault, which 
you would undoubtedly reproach yourfeif for, if 
you knew of what atrocioufnefs you have been 
made the inftrument. Sir, I make you my fin* 
cere faluta'tions.'' 

However much Mr. Hume might regret, thai 
his frieiid (hould have condefcended to notice a 
puerile jeu cTefprit in a newfpaper, he never could 
have furmifed that he himfelf would foe accufed of 
being the writer of it,- " I am furely," fays he,. " the 
laft man in the world, who, in common fenfe, 
ought to be fufpeded : yet, without even the pre- 
tence of the fmalleft proof or probability, I am, 
of a fudden, the firft man, not merely fufpedted, 
but fixed upon to be the publiflier : I am^ with- 
out any inquiry or explanation, infulted in a pub<- 
lie journal : I am, from the deareft friend, coiiverted 
into a treacherous and malignant enemy } and all 
my prefent and pad fervices are at once adroitly 
cancelled. Were it not ridiculous to employ reafon- 
ing on fuch a fubjeft, and with fuch a man, I 
might aik M, Rouifeau, why I am fuppofed to 
have any n^alignity againfl him ? My a&ions, in a 
liundred inftances, liad. fuffidently demonftrated 
tMib^trary ; an4 it is not i)faal for favours coa- 



ferred to beget ill-will in the perlon ^ho codfeiv 

Two days after the laft letter of Roufleau to 
Hume (29th March) in which he employs the moft 
fulfome adulation, he wrote to M. d'lvernoisy ia . 
a very different ftylc, his fentiments of our author ; 
and it appears from the following paflfage of his let-p 
ter to that gentleman, that at the time this philo- 
fopher was overwhelmhig Mr. Hume with ardent ex- 
preflions of gratitude, he had conceived againf^ 
him the moft abfurd fufpicion and violent ani* 

" Wooton, March 31, 1766. 

•* My friend, I wrote you the day before yefter- 
day, and the fame evening I received your letter ol 
the 1 5th. It had been opened and fealed again : 
it came to me through Mr, Hume, who is very 
intimate with the Ton of the juggler Fronchin, 
and refided in the fame houfe with him. He it 
alfo much connected with my moft dangerous ene- 
mies at Paris, and if he be not a cheat, I owe him 
in my heart many reparations, i owe bitn thanks 
for the trouble he has taken refpefting me, in a 
land where 1 know not the language. He con- 
cerns himfelf much about my little interefts ; but 
my reputation gains not by this, and I know i^ot 
trow it happens, that the public papers, which 
Jpoke much of me, and always with honour, h^ 
fere our arrival, have ceafed to do fo (Ince ht 
tame to London> or only fpei^k to my difimkan- 


•J . • 


tage. All my affairs, all my letters pafs through 
his hands : thofe I write, arrive not ; ihofe I re- 
ceive, are open. Several other circumftances ren- 
der me fulpicious of his condiicl, and even of 
his zeaL 1 cannot yet dii'cover what bis intea- 
tion.< are, but I cannot help thinking them (inider; 
and I am much deceived, if all our letters arc 
not divulged by the jugglers, who will infallibly 
endeavour to injure Uc. In the hope of learn- 
inpf fonicthing to aid my inquiry, fej^I your letter? 
with more care, aiul I will try on my part to open 
with your correfpondenis a direct communication, 
without the letters pafling thnvjgh this dangerous 

RoufRau had brought over with him a copy of 
M. du Peyrou's letters concerning the treatment he 
met with at Neiifchatel, and given them to Mr. 
Becket the bodcfeller to publifli. A delay having 
artfen in confequence of the indifpofitioa of tl^ 
tranftator, the fretful Roufleau immediately per- 
ceived confpiracy ;}nd treafon in this circumftance ; 
and under that impreflion wrote the following 
letter to Meflrs. Becket and De Hondt : a fur- 
ther explanation of the accidental caufes of thia 
delay will be afterwards given. 

<< Wootoo, April 9, 1766. 

** Gentlemen, 

^' I was furprifed at not feeing publiflied the tranf<^ 
lation of the letters of M. du Peyrou, which I had 
tranfiiiitted to you, and about which you feemed 



fo earncH:. But on reading in the public papers 
a pretended letter of the king of Pruflia to me, I 
readily conceived why thofe of M. du Peyrou had 
not appeared. Well, gentlemen, as the public 
^ifli to be deceived, let them be fo. I myfelf feel 
but very little intereft in it, and hope that the black 
vapours, raifed at London, will not difturb the fe- 
renity of the air I breathe here. But it appears to 
me, that as you make no ufe of the copy, you 
ought to have returned it, before my bringing it 
to your recoUeflion. Have the goodnefs, I requeft 
you, to fend it back, &c." 

It was the pradice of Roufleau, on the occur- 
rence of a dorm, of which he himfelf was generally 
the author, to fill Europe with his complaints ; and 
he was not wanting in induftry upon the prefent oc« 
ca(ion. The Countefs de Boufflers, the common 
friend of both philofophers, had long interefted 
herfelf in behalf of Rouifeau, and was one of thofe 
who had arranged his journey to England ; (he was 
a woman of ability, a f9avante, miftrefs of the Prince 
of Conti, and very defirous of being his wife. To 
this lady the angry citizen of Geneva, two days af- 
ter he had written to the editor of the St. James's 
Chronicle, fent a letter containing a violent attack on 
the integrity of Hume. He wrote in a like flyle to 
the MSrchionefs de Verdelin, to Lord Marifcbal^ to 
M. d'lvemois, and M. de MaUherbes. His let- 
ter to the Countefs was as follows : 

» Wgotoa^ 

Oi^ DAVID HUME, ESQ. 1 75 

«* Wootoo; April 9, 1766. 

" Madam, 

" It is with regret, that I have to afflifl: your be- 
nevolent heart ; but it is abfolutely necefiary that 
you (hould know this David Hume, into whofe 
hands you have delivered me, in the belief of ob- 
taining a quiet (ituation for me. . Since our arrival 
in England, where I knew only himfelf, fome one, 
who feems acquainted with all my affairs, labours 
in fecret, but without intermiflipn, to diflionour 
me, and has prevailed with a fuccefs which afto- 
nifhes me. All that happened to me in Swit- 
zerland has been mifreprefented : my laft journey 
to Paris, and the reception I met with there, have 
been falfified. It is alleged, that I wai generally 
defpifed in France for my bad condud, and that 
it is on that account I dare not {how myfelf in that 
country. It is inferted in the public papers, that, 
without Mr. Hume's proteftion, I durfl not, in 
my lad journey, have ventured to crofs France in 
order to embark at Calais, and that he had pro- 
cured my paffport. A forged letter of the king 
of Pruf&a, fabricated by d' Alembert, and circulat- 
ed at Paris by their common friend Walpole, ha$ 
been tranflated and publiflied. They have endea- 
voured to prefent me and Madlle. le Vafleur at fuch 
times as they could turn me into ridicule. They 
have fuppreiTed at a bookfeller's an edition and 
tranflation which was to have been made of the let- 
ters of M. du Peyrou. In lefii than fix weeks, all 



the public papers, which at firft fpoke of me only 
in honourable terms, have changed their flyle, 
and fpeak no more, except In contempt. The court 
and the public have ahered their fentimeats refpe£t-* 
. ing me with the fame rapidity ; and, above all^ 
the perfdns with whom Mr. Hume is moft con- 
nccted are thofe who diftinguifh themfelvcs by 
the moft pointed contempt ; — ^affedting, from a re- 
gard to him, to do mc an a£t of charity rather 
than of courtefy, without the leaft mark of aff<x> 
tion or efteem: and as if they were perfuaded, 
that it is only pecuniary fervices which can be of ufe 
to ^ man like me* 

" During the journey, he fpoke to me of the jug* 
gler Fronchin, as a man who had made deceitful 
advances to him, which he had reafon to mi(lruft« 
In the mean time, he lodged at London, with the 
fon of that juggler, lived in the greated intimacy 
with him, and at lad placed him with M. Mit- 
chel, the minifter at Berlin, where this young maa 
goes, no doubt, charged with inftrudions relating 
to me. I had the misfortune to refide two days 
with Mr. Hufne in that fame houfe, on a vifit from 
the country to London. 

^^ I cannot exprefs to you to what a pitch hatred 
aad fcorn have been manifefted towards me la thf 
hofleifes and fervants, and what a difgraceful re» 
ception they have given Madile. le VafTeur. la 
fine, I was almofl certain of meeting with a mail*' 
cious and contemptuous behaviour in thofe. connect* 



with Mr. Hume; and I have, a hundred times^ 
heard converfation held even in my own prefenee^ 
tending to inflame agamft tne thofe to whom he 
fpokie. The difficuhy is to divine bis objedl ; and 
this is encreafed by my being at his difcretion int 
a country, of the language of which I am ignorant, 
slnd where all my letters pafs through liis hands. 
Thefe he has ever been very earnefft to fee and to get 
hold of : few of thofe I have written, have arrived % 
ilmoft all I have received, have been opened ; and 
fuch as I might have drawn fome light from were 
probably fupprefled. 

*' There were two incidents, which I cannot for-^ 
get : one of them was, thaty on the evening after 
our departure from Paris, as we were all tivee 
lyipg in tjie fame chamber^ I heard, in the 
middle of the night, David Hume es^tlaim feveral 
tirnes with a loud voice, / have y* y. Roujfeau. 
Thefe' words I could only interpret iiskvourably at 
the time; yet there was in the tone, fomethingi 
cannot defcribe, bidoovls and deceitful, which I ne- 
ver will forget. 

^^ The fecpnd incident arofe from a kind of 
overflowing of the ^ heart which I gave way to on 
another occafipn with him, refpNeSing a letter 
which I am about to Hiention. In the evening I was 
writing on his table, to Mad. de Ghenonceaux. 
H^ waa very noxious to . know what I had written, 
and ifould karc^ly refrajp f rcnn reading it. I dofisd 
it^ lett^ without (hevAng jit to hi» > bul he ear* 

N neftly 

17^ l^m AKD WniTlNOi 

neftly a(ked for it, faying, that he would fend it 
next day by the poft. I was forced to give it him ; and 
it remained on the table. Lord Newnham arrived, 
and David left us a moment, but for what reafon I 
know not. 'I took up myletter, ohferving that it would 
be in time to fend it to morrow. Lord Newnham ofier- 
ed to fend it by the packet of the French Ambaf- 
fador. I accepted this oflFer, and David entered 
while Lord Newnham was putting the letter under 
cover. His Lordfliip drew out his feal, but David 
offered his with fo much eagemefs, that it was neceC> 
fary to take it in prefei'ence. The bell was rung, and 
Lord Newnham gave the letter to a fervant to be 
fent immediately to the ambaflfador's houfe. I £ud 
to myfelf, I am fure that David will follow the 
fervsmt. This he did not bxl to do ; and I will lay 
a iRrager that my letter was not fent, or that it was 
firft unfealed. 

*^ At fupper, he fixed his eyes alternately on 
Madelle. le Vafleur and on me, in fuch a manner 
as to terrify me,— eyes which an honeft man ii 
feldom fo unfortunate as to receive from nature* 
When (he had gone to bed in the dog*ken- 
nel allotted her, we remained fome time without 
fpeaking. He fixed his attention on me in a fimilar 
manner} and I endeavoured to do the fame on 
him, but found it impoffible to fupport his hideous 
looks, i felt my foul troubled within me ; I expe- 
rienced a horrible emotion : in fine, the remoifii 
of judging evilly of fo great a man on mere ap- 
pearances overcame me. I threw myfelf in hk 


9tn\Sj and burfting into tears, extlaimed. No, Da* 
vid Hume it not a traitor ; that is impojjible : but if 
he is not the bcjt of nien^ he mujl be the blackeji* 
Upon this, my gentleman, inftead of being foften- 
ed as I was, or putting himfelf in a paflion ; in- 
ftead of demanding explanations from me, remain* 
ed tranquil, and returned my tranfports with fome 
cold carefles, patting me gently on the back, and 
faying feveral times, my dear Sir; what, my dear Sir! 
I declare, that this manner of receiving the over- 
flowing of my heart ftruck me more than every 
thing elfe. I fet out next day for the country, 
where 1 have collefted new fafts, and now conclude 
with a wifli to die. 

•* In this reverfe of my affairs, which does not 
permit me to fpeak to you of any thing elfe, I 
poifefs all my faculties. Madam, do not be dif- 
heartened by my miferies, and deign to love me 
ftill, although the moft unfortunate of men. 

•* I have feen Dr. Gatti • in ftrong intimacy 
with our gentleman ; and two interviews have fa- 
tisfied me, that,, whatever you may fay of him, 
Doftor Gatti does not love me. I ought alfo to 
have apprized you, that the box you fent to me by 
him has been opened, and that another feal than 
yours was put on it. It would tempt one to laugh, 
to think how my inquifitive folks have been pu- 

* it^try Should sot this be Dr..Mat7 i 

N2 One 


One of his letters from Wooten to M. de Mal- 
fherbes contains farther details, highly charafterif- 
tic of the eccentricity of the writer. It is dated 
the loth May; and after fome introdufkory 
reinaiks t>f a general nature, proceeds as fbU 
lows : 

*' Allow me, for the fecond time in my Kfe^ 
to inform you of my fituation. How altered U 
my fortune, fince my refidence at Montmor^cy ! 
You thought me then unhappy, and you de^ 
ceived yourfelf: if you think that I. am hap- 
py at prefent, you dill more deceive yourfelf. 
You are going to hear of a new fpecies of 
misfortunes, worthy of crowning all the others, 
and fuch as I could not indeed have fuppofed in re^ 
ferve for me. • 

'^ I lived in Switzerland as a mild and quieC 
man, fhunning the converfe of the worlds with- 
out concerning myfelf about any thing, never en- 
gaging in difpute, and not even exprefling my opi« 
nioQS. I was driven from it by perfecutions, with- 
out an object, without a motive, without pretext ; 
by perfecutions the mod violent and undeferved that 
it is poflible to imagine; yet fome have even 
the barbarity to reproach me, as if I had drawn 
them on myfelf through vanity. Languid, (ick, and 
aiHifted, I made preparations in the beginning of 
winter to go to Berlin. While at Strafturgh, I 
received from Mr. Hume the mod affeftionate 
invitation, to put myfelf under his protection, and 



to follow him to England, where he would pro- 
cure for me an agreeable and tranquil retreat. I 
had formerly a defign of retiring into that country, 
find Lord Marifchal had always advifed me to 
it. The Duke d'Aumont, at the requeft of Mad, 
de Verdelin, procured for me a paffport, by means 
of which I fet out with a heart full of the good 
David. I haftened to Paris to throw myfelf into 
his arms. The Prince of Conti honoured me with 
a reception more fuitable to his generofity than to 
my fituation ; and I acquiefced in it from a fenti* 
ment of refp^, though with repugnance, as I 
forfaw that my enemies would make me pay dear 
for the eclat of it, 

^^ It was very gratifying to me to perceive the 
increafe of good will towards Mr. Hume, which 
this a6: of kindnefs procured him at Paris. He 
ought, as well as myfelf, to have been touched 
with it ; yet I doubt if he was in a fimilar man-* 
ner. But what gave me extreme uneafinefs was, 
to fee the Prince of Conti loading me in his pre- 
ience with fuch great faivours, that they might 
have paflfed as if done in jeft, if I had had lefs 
reaibn to be melancholy, or the Prince had been- 
lefs generous. All thefe attentions were direded 
to me : Mr. Hume was in a manner forgotten, or 
merely afked to (hare in them. It was clear, 
that this preference of kindnefs, of which I was 
the objeft, was not very flattering to him ; for it 
was as much as to fay,— my/r/Vw^f Humey aid me in 
Jbewin% conwiiferation to this unfortunate^ But his 

N 3 jealous 


jealous heart was too brutal to feel this dlf* 

^* We fet out. His mind was fo occupied about 
mcy that he fpoke of me in his fleep. Tou will learn 
afterwards what he faid on the iirft night of 
our journey. On landing at Dover^ I was tranf- 
ported on touching at laft that land of liberty, and 
at being condu£led to it by that illuftrious man : I 
leaped on his neck, embraced him without utter* 
ing a word, and covered his face with kiflet and 
with tears. It was not the only time, nor the mod 
remarkable inilance, that he had witnefled in 
me a fudden emotion of an affe£tionate heart. 
I know not what he does with thefe recoUediont, 
if he feels them ; but I fufpeft that they have bcco 
fometinies importunate. 

« We arrived in London. In both Houfes c^ 
Parliament, and even at court, they were eager to 
ihew me kiudnefs and edeem. Mr. Hume pre* 
fented me politely to every body, and I naturally 
s^cribed to him the chief part of this receptiom 
The refort of company made a refidence in London 
Inconvenient ; immediately country-houfes prefent- 
ed themfelves in abundance : I had my choice in 
^very county. Mr. Hume charged bimfelf with 
thefe propofals, communicated them to me, and 
<^ven condufted me to two or three places in the 
neighbourhood* I hefitated long in* my choice} 
b\it at lad determined on this place. Mr. Hume 
ixom^tely VTitnged every thing; all di$cultie« 



were removed : I fet out^ and arrived at a commo- 
diousy agreeable, and folitary habitation, where the 
mafter provides every thing, and nothing is want- 
ing : I am quiet and independent. This was the mo- 
ment fo much deAred, when all my misfortunes were 
to terminate : no, it was only the moment when they 
were to commence, misfortunes more cruel than any 
I had hitherto experienced.. 

^ Perhaps, Sir, you may not be ignorant, that 
before my arrival in England, it was one of the 
countries in Europe where I had the greateft reputa- 
tion, and I will almoft venture to fay, confideration. 
The public papers were full of my praifes, and 
there was only one cry of indignation againft my 
perfecutors. This was the tone on my arrival, 
which the papers announced with triumph : Eng- 
land was honoured by becoming my place of re- 
fuge, and (he was juftly proud of her laws and her 
government. On a fudden, and without any af- 
fignable caufe, this tone was changed ; but fo 
ftrongly and fo rapidly, that, in all the caprices 
of the public, never was any thing more furprif- 
ing. The fignal was given in a certain magazine, 
as fiill of abfujrdities as of lies j and in it the 
author, doubtlefs well informed, gave me out for 
the foA of a mufidan. From that moment, all 
was infult and outrage : crowds of books and other 
writings attacked me perfonally, without refped or 
difcretion ; and no paper dared ajq)ear, unlefs it 
contained fome rudenefs towards me. Though 
100 much accuftomed to mjurics horn the jfMic 

N4 to 


to be aCe^ed by this, I could not help being fiic*. 
prifed s^t a change fo quick, a concert fo com* 
pletely unanimous, that not one of thofe whq 
had fo much praifqd me laid a fingle word in my 

* ^^ I thought it ftrange, that precifely on the r^. 
turn of Mr. Hume, who has fo much iiifiucncQ 
here with the men of letters, and fuch great cou- 
nedion with them, his prefence fliould have pro- 
duced an %{f^& fQ contrary to what I might havQ' 
eype^d ; in fo much, that pot one of his friend$. 
(hewed himfelf to he mi^e ; and i( was eafy to per* 
o^ve th;^t thofe who treated mQ fo ill were non^ 
of his enepi^ '^ for while f peaking highly of his 
(jMaljty of piiniiler, they £aid that I could not havQ, 
tiayelled through Frs^nce except under his protec« 
tiofi, and that he h<^d obtaii^ed for me a pa0por( 
from the couift of France ; and they were littL^ 
from adding, tl>at I had made the journey at his 

^> Another thing aftoniih^ me (till more. Every 
I}ody had c^ureifed nie on my arrival ; but in pro- 
portion tQ the lepgth o^ our (lay, I obfervcd tbQ. 
behaviour of his friends (p alter in a very (Lrik* 
ing inP^nner. ( own, that they have evec takei^ 
thp fafit^ trouble o;i my account^ but far froia 
giviqg n^e their e(leem„ they accompanied their 
{erHCQ$ with the mod (hocking aur of diCdain^ and 
U niight be £c^d, ^h^Lt they fought to oblige me, 

fnwrejy to h%ve a Fight to load Qie with co^tCiQieiU 


or DAVID HUME) M$jSls^ 1 85 

Unfortunately I was in their power. At their 
mercy in a country, the language of which was un« 
known to me, wliat could I do f^-^bow down my. 
head, aod fee none of thefe affronts. If fome Eng- 
Jifhmen have continued to give me their eflieem, 
.they are pcrfons with whom Mr. Hume has no con:* 

^' Flajttery I have alway.s fufpe£le,d. He has of« 
£ered me the lowed, and in every way ; but I have 
pever remarked in his language any thing which 
indicated real friendlhip. Jt might be iaid, that, 
in feeking to procure patrons to me, he itrove 
to bereave, me of their good will. He wi&ed that 
I (hould obtain aid rather than afFe£lion; and I 
have a hundred times been furprifed at the re- 
pulfive turn he gave to my conduct before people 
who might have taken oflfence at it. An. example will 
illuftrate this. Mr. Penneck of the Mufeum, a 
friend of Lord Marifchal,. and clergyman of a pa* 
ri(h in which they wanted me to refide, came to 
fee me. Mr. Hume, in my prefence, made my 
excufes for not having paid him a vilit. Do£kor 
Maty, faid he, had invited us to the Mufeum on 
Thurfdav, where M. RouiTeau (hould have feen 
you, but he preferred going with Mrs. Garrick to 
the play ; he could not do fo many things on the 
iame day. 

>^ A forged letter of the Sang of Pruffia was 
circulated at Paris, and afterwards tranflated and 
publiihed here. I heard with aftoniiliment, that 

3 the 


the perfon vho circulated the letter was a Mr. 
Walpole, a friend of Mr. Hume. I aiked him, if 
this was true; but inftead of anfwering me, he cold- 
ly demanded, who told me fo ; and a few days af- 
terwards, he wanted me to intruft this fame Mr. 
Walpole with fome papers of confequence to me, 
which I wifhed to fend by a fafe conveyance. I 
faw this pretended letter of the King of Pruflia, 
and immediately recognized in it the ftyle of M, 
d' Alembert, another fi iend of Mr. Hume, and my 
enemy, who is the more dangerous as he takes 
care to conceal his hatred. I learned that the fon 
ef the juggler Fronchin, my moft deadly foe, was 
not only a friend of Mr. Hume, but that he re- 
fided with him ; and when Mr. Hume faw that I 
knew this, he confidently aflured me that the fon 
did not refemble the father. I lodged two oc 
three nights with my governante in the fame houfe 
with Mr. Hume, and from the reception his hof- 
teffes, who are his friends, gave us, I judged of 
the manner in which this man, who was bid 
ilot to refemble his father, had fpoken of her and 
me to them. 

^^ All thefe fa£h taken together, and others I 
obferved of a fimilar nature, infenflbly produced 
an uneaftnefs which I repulfed with horror. In the 
mean time, the letters I wrote did not arrive, fe- 
veral of thofe I received had been opened, and all 
^f them pafled through the hands of Mr. Hume : 
if any one efcaped him, he could not conceal his 
anxiety to fee it, I ftill recoiled a circumftance, 


or DAVID HUME^ ES<^. 187 

which ftruck me ' one evening, refpe£ting a letter. 
It was this^ for it is neceflary that I relate it ; and 
in domg fo, I mod be particular. After fupper^ 
we were both fitting in (ilence by the firefide, when 
I obferved him to fix his eyes on me ; which he 
often did, and in a very remarkable manner. His 
eager and prolonged attention was this time al* 
moft diflrefling. I endeavoured to fix my eyes on 
him in my turn : but when mine flruck his, I feh 
an unaccountable terror, and I was foon obliged 
to turn them elfewhere. The phyfiognomy and 
tone of the good David are thofe of a good man ; 
but to engage me in a tete-a-tete with him, the 
good man mud have other eyes than thofe he 

^^ The impreflion of this look remained wit|i 
me. My uneafinefs encreafed even to oppreflion. 
Very foon afterwards a violent remorfe feized me : 
I was indignant at myfelf. At lad, in a tranfport, 
which I ftill recoiled with pleafure, I threw myfelf 
on his neck, and inundating it with my tears, I 
exclaimed, No^ no^ David Hume is not a traitor : 
if be were not the beft of nien^ be would be tbe 
blackeji. David returned my embraces, and pat« 
ting me on the back with his finger, repeated 
feveral dmes in a placid tone : Wbat^ . my dear 
Sir f Ebj my dear Sir / Wbat tben^ my dear Sir f 
He faid no more; I felt my heart yearn with* 
in me ; our explanation flopt there ; we went 
to bed, and next day I let out for the country, 



" I Fctum now to what I heard at Raye the fir^ 
night after our departure. We were in bed in 
fbe fame chamber ; and feveral times in the mid* 
die of the night I beard him cry with extreme 
violence, / have J. J. Roujfeau. 1 took thefc 
words in a favourable fenfe, which his tone ce^« 
tainly did not warrant. It was a tone of which 
it is impoflible to give an idea, and which had no 
refemblance to that he has during the day, but corre* 
fponded very well with the looks I formerly men- 
tioned. Every time he uttered thefe words, I 
Ihuddered with terror which I could not reiift : but 
a moment only was neceiTary to reftore me, and I 
then laughed at my fright. Next day every thing 
was fo completely forgot, that I did not even think of 
the affair during my flay in London and its neigh- 
bourhood; and it was not until my arrival here, that^ 
on reviewing the obfervations I had made, and the 
number of which augmented daily, the circumftance 
came to my recollection. At prefent, I am too 
certain that I (hall not again forget it. Thif 
man, whom my unlucky defliny fcems to have 
created to didrefs me, is not in the ordinary fphera 
of human nature, and you have certainly, more 
than any one, a reafon to hold his charader in* 

** It is, however, not my obje£k that you ihould 
judge of him on my reprefentation, but only that 
you judge of my fituation. Alone in a countiy 
unknown to me, among a people but little raild^ 



Uh<^fe language I know not, and whofe hatred is 
inQamed againft ine, — without fupport, without a 
friend, without the means of warding oiF the blows 
aimed a<^ain(t me, I might, from thefe alone, feel 
reafoni for forrow. But I proteft, that it is neither 
for the troubles I endure, nor the dangers 1 run^ 
that I am uneafy. I repofe fo confidently on mf 
reputation, that I no lonp;er think of defending iu 
Without pain I abandon it, at leaft during my iife, 
to my indefatigable enemies ; but to think that a 
man with whom I have never had any difference, 
•—a man of merit, edimable for his talents, and re* 
fpeded for his charader, fhould (Iretch out his arms 
to me in my diftrefs, and when I throw myfelf into 
them, ftifle m^ with his embrace — that^ Sir, is 
the idea which overwhelms me. Voltaire, d'Alem- 
bert, Fronchin^ have not for an inftant affected mj 
foul ; but were I to live a thoufand years, I .fiiouU 
feel at the laft moment of my exiftence, that David 
Hume would never ceafe. to be prefent to my 

^ Yet I endure my misfort;unes.v^ith fufEqicntpa. 
tience, and,. above ^lU felicitate tnyfeUV. that my 
temper is not four^ by them :::th«i. senders them 
lefs infupportable to me., I h^y^ .renewed lay Xo- 
litary walks ; but inilead of indulging in a reve- 
rie, I botanife : it is a change of purfuit. of wbich 
I ftand in need. Unfortunately I have no great re* 
fourcc here ; we have few fine days ; I have bad 
eyes, and a bad microfcope. I .am to colled plants 
: without. 

tg6 litFE AKO WHITlMGtf 

without books, for I have none here. Befides fft)f 
nights are unpleafant, my body fuflfers ftill more 
than my heart : ^he total lofs of fleep renders me a 
prey to the mod mebncholy ideas : the air of the 
country joins its fombre itifluence to all this, and 
I begin to feel frequently that I have lived too Ioiig« 
The worft is, that I fear death ftill more, not 
merely for itfelf, not merely becaufe I have not 
a friend to fweeten my laft hours, but on account of 
the defolate ftate in which I (hall leave here*^ the 
companion of my misfortunes, abandoned to in* 
humanity, or, what is worfe, the infulting pity 
of thofe whofe cares are only a refinement of cru^ 
elty to make one endure opprobrium in filencct 
I know not, in fad, what refourcea philofophy can 
offer to a man in my fituadon. Indeed, 1 perceive 
two only which can be of ufe,— hope and refig* 

^^ The pleaTure, Sir, which I have in writing 
you is fo wholly independent of the expedatkm 
of an anfwer, that I do not fend you any addreft 
for that purpofe, and I am very certain you will 
not make ufe of that of Mn Hume, with whom 
I have broken off* all connexion. Your fentimentt 
are known to me; and I have the evidence of 
a hundred letters that you think of me fometimei 
with intereft. I have refolved to break oflF here* 
after all commerce by letters, except in the cafe 
of abfolute neceffity,-— to read in future nei^ 
ther journals nor public papers, but to pafi 



the tranquil days which may be left me, ia 
total ignorance of what is laid or done in the world.*' 

Inconfcious of having committed any fault, 
the unfuFpefting Hume continued his kind offices 
in behalf of RouiTeau, and renewed his folidtations 
refpefting the penfion, as foon as the ftate of 
General Conway's health permitted. The Ge- 
neral applied again to his Majefty, who likewife 
renewed his confent. Application had been alfo 
made to the Marquis of Rockingham, then firfl: 
Commiflioner of the Treafury. In fine, Hume, 
having happily accompliihed his purpofe according 
to his wifhes, informed RouiTeau of his fuccefs ; 
but all his exertions were blafted by the following 
letter, which the philofopher thought proper to 
write to General Conway. 

" May 12, 17(55. 

« Sir, 
^^ Affefled by a mod lively fenfe of the favour 

his Majefty has honoured me with, and of your 
goodnefs, which procured it me; I experience 
the moft agreeable fenfation in refleding that the 
beft of Kings, and the perfon mod worthy of his con- 
fidence, are pleafed to i:iterefl themfelves in my 
fortune. This, Sir, is an advantage of which I 
am juftly tenacious, and which I will never 
deferve to lofe. But it is BecefTary I fhould 
fpeak to you with the franknefs you admire^ 
After fo many misfortunes, I thought myfelf arm- 
#d againfl all poffible events : there have happened 


igi LIFE Anp writings 

to me fome, however, which 1 did not forefeie i 
and which indeed an ingenuous mind could not 
have forefecn. Hence it is that they aSed me 
fo much the more feverely, and the trouble in 
which they involve me deprives me of the eafe of 
mind necelTary for dire£ting my condu£t. All I 
can reafonably do, in fo diflreiTed a iituation, is 
to fufpend my rcfolutions about every affair of 
fuch importance as that in agitation. So br 
from refufing the beneficence of the King from 
pride, as is imputed to me, I am proud of ac* 
knowledging it, and am only forry I cannot do fo 
more publicly. But when I aftually receive it^ 
1 wi(h to be able to give up myfelf entirely to 
thofe fentiments which it would infpire, and to 
have a heart replete with gratitude for his Majeily's 
goodiiefs and yours. I am not at all afraid that this 
manner of thinking will make any alteration in yours 
towards me. Deign, therefore, Sir, to preferve 
that kindnefs for me, till a more happy opportu- 
nity : you will then be fatisfied, that I defer tak-^ 
ing advantage of it, only to render myfelf more 
worthy of it. I beg of you. Sir, to accept €i 
my mod humble and refpe&ful falutations." 

This letter appeared l>Dth to General Conway 
and to our hiftorian a plain refufal, as long as the 
ftipulation of fecrecy was infided on. Hume, how- 
ever, being willing to overlook the apparent ne* 
gle£t in writing him, prevailed on the General 
to keep the matter ftill open, and wrote a friend- 
ly letter to Rouffeau, exhorting him to return to 


'^: -4-'. 
OF DAvm msuni tut. 193 

his former way of thinking, and to accept of the 
penfion. As to the pretended diftrefs which he 
mentions in his letter to the General, all fears were 
removed by a letter from Mr. Davenport, who re- 
ported his gueft to be at the time extremely happy, 
eafy, cheerful, and even fociable. ^ I (aw plainly 
in this occurrence," obferves Mr. Hume, ** the 
ufual infirmity of my friend, who wifhes to intereft 
the world in his favour by pafling for fickly, and 
perfecuted, and diftrefled, and unfortunate, be- 
yond all meafure, even while he is the moft hap- 
py and contented. His pretences of an txtxfmc 
fenfibility had been too frequently repeated, ta 
have any effefi on a man who was fo weU. acquaint- 
ed with them.*' 

After waiting three weeks in vain for an anfwer 
to his letter, but having to do with a very ec- 
centric charader, ' and (till accounting for his 
filence by fuppofing him afliamed to write to him, 
Hume neverthelefs detemuned not to abate in his en* 
devours to do him an eflential fervice ; and accord- 
ingly renewed his applicadons to the miniilers, the 
refult of which he communicated to him in the 
following letter i 

«' Lifle-ftrcet, Leicefter-Iield^ 
June 19, 1766. 

" Sir, 

^^ As I have not recaved any anfwer fit>m yois; 
I conclude, that you perfevere in the refolution of 
jrefttfing all marks of his Majefty'a goodneis, as 


long as they mud remain a fecret. I havey diere^ 
fore, applied to General Conway to have this con^ 
dition removed ; and I have been fo fortunate as to 
obtain his promiTe that he would fpeak to the King 
for that purpofe. It will only be requifite, faid he» 
that we know previoufly from M. Rouflfeau, whether 
he would accept of a penfion publicly granted him, 
that his Majefty may not be expofed to a fecond refu* 
fal. He gave me authority to write to you on the 
fubje£b ; and I beg to hear your refolution as foon 
as poffible. If you give your confent, which I ear- 
neftly entreat you to do, I know that I can depend 
on the good offices of the Duke of Richmond to 
fecond General Conway's application; fo that I 
have no doubt of fuccefs. I am, my dear Sir, 
your's, with great fincerity." 

Five days afterwards Roufleau returned the fol- 
lowing anfwer : 

'* Wooton, June 23, 1766. 

" Sir, 

*' I imagined, that my filence, truly interpreted by 
your confcience, had faid enough ; but fmce you have 
fome deiign in not underftanding me, I fhall fpeak. 
You have but ill difguifed yourfelf. I know you, 
and you are not ignorant of it. Before we had 
any connexion, quarrels or difputes ; while we 
knew each other only by literary reputation, you 
affedionately made me . an offer of the good of- 
fices of yourfelf and friends. Affeded by this ge- 
nerofity, I threw myfelf into your arms; you 
brought me to England, apparently to procure me 
# an 


aui afylum; but, in fa^, to bring me to diiho- 
nour. Tou applied to this noble work, with a zeal 
worthy of your heart, and a fuccefs worthy of your 
abilities. To fucceed, it was not neceflary to take fo 
much pains : you live in the world, and I in folitude. 
The public love to be deceived, and you were formed 
to deceive them. I know one man, however, whom 
you cannot deceive; I mean yourfelf. You know with 
what horror my heart rejefted the firft fufpicion of 
your defigns. I told you with tears in my eyes, 
while I embraced you, that if you were not the beft 
of men, you muft be the bafeft. In refledling on 
your fecret condud, you muft fay to yourfelf, 
fometimes, you are not the beft of men ; and I 
doubt, if, under that impreffion, you will ever 
be the happieft. 

*' I leave your friends and you to carry on your 
fchemes as you pleafe ; and I give up to you, with- 
out regret, my reputation during life, certain that, one 
day, juftice will be done to the reputation of both. 
As to your good offices in matters of intereft, 
which you have made ufe of as a malk, I thank you 
for them, and (hall difpenfe with profiting by them. 
I ought not to hold a correfpondence with you any 
longer, or to accept of it even to my advantage in 
any affair in which you are to be the mediator. 
Adieu, Sir, I wifh you the trueft happinefs ; but as 
we ought not to have any thing to fay to each other 
for the future, this is the laft letter you will receive 
from me/' 

Oa T« 


To this letter Mr. Hume immediately fioit tbe 
following reply : 

<< June 26f 176& 

*^ As I am confcious of having ever aOed txv 
wards you the moft friendly part, of having alveayt 
given you the moft tender and the moft adive prooft 
of fincere aSe£tion, you may judge of my extreme 
furprife on perufing your epiftle. Such violent 
accufations, confined altogether to generalities, it 
is as impoffible to anfwer, as it is impoflible to 
comprehend them. But affairs cannot, muft not 
remain on that footing. I (hall charitably fuppofe, 
that fome infamous calumniator has belied me to 
you. But, in that cafe, it is your duty, and, I am 
perfuaded, it vi^ill be your inclination, to give me 
an opportunity of detefUng him, and of juftifpng 
myfelf ; which can only be done by your mention- 
ing the particulars of which I am accufed. You 
fay, that I myfelf know that I have been falfe to 
you } but I fay it loudly, and will fay it to the 
whole world, that I know the contrary ; that I l^now 
my friendfhip towards you has been unbounded and 
uninterrupt^ ; and that though I have ^ven yoa 
inftances of it, which have been univerfidly remark- 
ed both in France and England, the pubUc as yet 
are acquainted only with the fmalleft part of it. 
I demand, that you name to me the man who 
dares affert the contrary; and, above all, I de» 
mand, that he fhall mention any one particular in 
which I have been wanting to you* Youo^e this 


lo me; you owe it toyourfdf; you owe it to 
truth, and honour, and juftice, and to every thing 
deemed facred among men. As an innocent man, 
-— fot I will not fay, as your friqid ; I will not fay, 
as your benefiidor ; but I repeat it, as an innocent 
man, I claim the privilege of proving my inno- 
cence, and of refuting any fcandalous falfehood 
which may have been invented againft me. Mr. 
Davenport, to whom I have fent a copy of your 
letter, and who will read this before he delivers it, 
will, I am confident, fecond my demand, and tell 
you, that nothing can be more equitable. Hap- 
pily I have preferved the letter you wrote me after 
your arrival at Wooton ; and you there ezprefs, ifi 
the ftrongeft terms, in terms indeed, too ftrong, 
your fatisfadlon in my poor endeavours to ferve 
you. The little epiflolary intercourfe, which after- 
wards pafTed betwe^ us, has been all employed cm, 
my fide to the mod friendly purpofes. Tell me 
then, what has fince given you offence. Tell me, 
of what I am accufed. Tell me the man who ac- 
cufes me. Even after you have fulfilled all thefe 
conditions to my fatisfadion, and to that of Mr. 
Davenport, you will ftill have great difficulty to 
. juftify your employing fuch outrageous terms towards 
a man, with whom you have .been fo intimately 
connefted, and who was intitled, on many ap« 
counts, to have been treated by you with more re- 
gar d and decency . 

^* Mr< Davenport knows the whole tranfadion 
•bout your penfion, becaufe I thpught it neceffary 

O3 that 


that the pcrfon who had undertaken your fettle* 
ment, fhould be fully acquainted with your circum- 
fiances ; left he fhould be tempted to perform to- 
wards you concealed afts of generofity, which^ if 
they accidentally came to your knowledge, might 
give you fome grounds of offence. 

« I am, Sir." 

In confequence of Mr. Davenport's interpofition, 
Roufleau was prevailed on to write, three weeks 
afterwards, the following long epiftle to Hume, 
which is the more interefting, as it contains Rouf- 
feau's ftatement of fads, and to which are fubjoin* 
ed the notes annexed by our hiftorian, in his 
French pamphlet, already mentioned, and inferted 
in the Appendix. 

•* Wooton, July 10, ij66, 

« Sir, 
^^ I am indifpofed, and little in a condition to 
write ; but you require an explanation, and it muft 
be given you. It was your own &ult, that you 
had it not long fmce ; but as you did not defire it, 
I was filent : at prefent you do, and I have fent it. 
It will be a long one : for this I am forry ; but I 
have much to fay, and wifli not to return hereafter 
to the fubjed. -' 

** I live retired from the world, and am ignorai^t 
of what paiTes in it. I have no party, no affociate, 
no intrigue. I am told nothing, and' I know 
only what I feel j but that 1 well know, as care has 


OF DAVID HU .ii, ESQ. I99 

been taken to make me feverely feel. The firfl 
care of thofe who engage in bad defigps is to fe- 
cure themfelves from legal proofs of detection ; it 
would not be very advifable to feek a remedy, 
againfl: them at law. The innate conviftion- of the 
heart admits of another kind of proof, which in- 
fluences the fentiments of an honefl: man. You 
well know the bafis of mine. 

, ^^ You aflc me, with great confidence, to name 
your accufer. That accufer. Sir, is the only man. 
in the world whofe teftimony 1 fhould admit againfl: 
you : it is yourfelf. Without referve or fear, I 
(hall give myfelf up to the natural franknefs of my 
difpofition ; and being an enemy to every kind of 
artifice, I (hall fpeak with the fame freedom^ as if 
you were a perfon in whom I placed all th^t confi* 
dence which I no longer have in you. I will give you 
a hiftory of the emotions of my heart, and of what 
produced them. While fpeaking of Mr. Hume in tl^c 
third perfon, I fhall make yourfelf the judge of what. 
I ought to think of him. Notwithftanding the 
length of my letter, 1 fhall purfue no other order 
than that of my ideas, beginning with the premifes, 
and ending with the demonftration. 

" I quitted Switzerland, wearied out by the bar- 
barous treatment which I had experienced, but 
which affefted only my perfonal fafety, while my 
honour was fecure. I was going, as my heart di- 
reded me, to join Lord Marifchal, when I receiv- 
ed at Strafburg a mofl aflfedionate invitation horn 

O 4 Mr. 


Mr. Hume, to go over with him to Englaadf 
where he promifed me the mofl agreeable zecqi« 
tion, and more tranquillity than I had met with. 
I hefitated feme time between my old fiiend and 
my new one ; in this I was wrong. I preferred the 
latter, and in this was ftill more fo ; but the defire 
of viKiting in perfon a celebrated nation, of which I 
hadheardboth fo much good and fo much ill, preyail- 
ed. Aflured that I was not to lofe George Keith, I was 
flattered by the acquifition of David JEIume. , Hit 
great merit, extraordinary abilities, and eftabliflied 
probity of charader, made me deiirous of annexing 
his friendfliip to that with which I was honoured 
by his illuilrious countryman. Befides, I gloried 
pot a little in fetting an example to men of letters* 
in a fincere union between two men fo different 
in their principles. 

<< Before I had received an invitation from th^ 
Sing of Pruflia, and Lord Marifchal, and while 
undetermined about the place of my retreat, I 
had requefted and obtained, by the intereft of my 
friends, a paflport from the court of France. X 
made ufe of this, and went to Paris to join Mr« 
Hume. He £tw, and perhaps faw too much of 
the favourable reception I met with from a great 
Prince, and, I will venture to fay, from the pub* 
lie. I yielded, as it was my duty, though with re* 
ludance, to that eclat; concluding how bx it would 
excite the envy of my enemies. At the lame time* 
I (aw, with pleafure, the regard which the public 
cntertamed for Mr. Hume fenfibly incieafing 


OF DAVID HUMS, £8Q* 201 

Aroughoot Paris, on account of the good work he 
had undertaken with refped to me. Doubtlels he 
was affe&ed too ; but 1 know not if it was in the 
fame manner as I was. 

** We fet out with one of my friends, who 
came to England almoft entirely on my account. 
When we landed at Dover, I was tranfported with* 
the thoughts of having fet foot in this land of 
liberty, under the conduft of fo celebrated a per- 
fon ; I threw my arms round his neck, and prefled 
him to my heart, without fpeaking a fyllable; 
bathing his cheeks, as I kifTed them, with tears 
fufEciently expreflive. This was not the only time, 
nor the mod remarkable inftance I have given him 
of .the effuiions of a heart full of fenfibility. I 
know not what he does with the recolleftion of 
them^ when that happens; but I have a notion 
they muft be fometimes troublefome to him. 

^^ On our arrival in London, all ranks of people 
eagerly prefied to give me marks of their kindnefs 
and efteem. Mr. Hume politely prefented me to 
every body : and it was natural for me to afcribe to 
him, as I did, the befl part of my good r€cep* 
tion. My heart was full of him : I fpoke in his 
praife to every one ; 1 wrote to the fame purpofe to 
all my friends: my attachment to him gathered 
new ftrength every day, while his appeared the 
moil affedionate to me; of which he frequently 
gave me inftances that touched me extremely. 
Hiat of caufing my portrait to be painted, how- 



ever, was not of the number. This fecmed to me 
to carry with it too much affe&ation, and bad an 
air of oftentadon which by no means pleafed me. 
All this, however, might have been eafily ex^ 
cufable, if Mr. Hume had been a man apt to throw 
away his money, or had a gallery of pictures, 
containing the portraits of his friends. After all^ 
I freely confefs, that, on this head, I may be in 
the wrong *. 

*^ But what appears to me an z6t of fnendfhi{f 
and ' generofity the mod undoubted and eftima« 
ble, in a word, the mod worthy of Mr. Hume, 
was the care he took to folic! t for me of his own 
accord, a penfion from the King ; to which, mod 
afluredly, I had no right to afpire. As I was a 
witnefs to the zeal he exerted in that affair, 1 was 
greatly affefted by it. Nothing could flatter me 
more than a piece of fervice of that nature ; not 
merely for the fake of ihtered ; for, too much 
attached perhaps to what I a£tually poflefs, I am 
not capable of defiring what I have not ; and as I 
am able to fubfid on my labour and the aid of my 
friends, I covet nothing more. But the honour of 

* The fa6t was this. My friend, Mr. Ramfayy a painter of 
eminence, and a man of merit, propofed to draw M. Roufleau^t 
pi6lure ; and when he had begun it, told me he intended to 
make me a prcfcnt of it. Tlius the defign of having M. 
Rouffeau's pi6ture drawn did not come from me, nor did it coft 
me any thing. M. RoufTeau, therefore, is equally contempt- 
ible in paying me a compliment for this pretended gallantly^ 
in his letter of the 29th of March| and in cpnverting it inta 
ridicule here. Hume. 



receiving teftimonies of the goodnefs, I will not fay 
of fo great a monarch, but of fo good a father, fo 
good a hufband, fo good a mafter, fo good a friend, 
and, above all, fo vtrorthy a man, fenfibly zSt&ed 
me ; and when I coniidered farther, that the mini« 
fter who had obtained for me this favour, was a 
living inftance of that probity fo ufefui to man- 
kind, and fo rarely met with in one of his fitua- 
tion, I could not forbear to pride myfelf, at having 
for my benefaftors three men, whom, of all the 
world, I could moft jdefire to have my friends. 
Thus, fo far from refufing the penfion offered me, 
I only made one condition neceffary for my accept- 
ance ; and that was the confent of a perfon, whom 
I could not, without neglc£ting my duty, fail to 

*' Being honoured with the civilities of all the 

world, I endeavoured to make a proper return. In 

the mean time, my bad (late of health, and my 

cuftom of living in the country, made my refidence 

in town very difagreeable. Immediately country. 

houfes prefehted themfelves in plenty ; I had my 

choice of all the counties of England. Mr. Hume 

took the trouble to receive thefe propofals, and to 

reprefent them to me ; accompanying me to two or 

three places in the neighbouring counties. I hefitated 

a good while in my choice, and he increafed the 

diiEcuky of determination. At length, I fixed on 

this place, and immediately Mr. Hume fettled the 

affair ; all difficulties vanifhed, and I departed. I 

;irrived at this folitary, convenient, and agreeable 

habitation ; 


habitation ; xvhere the owner of the houfe foper- 
intends every thing, and provides every thing } and 
where nothing is wanting. I became tranqiul and 
independent ; and this feemed to be the wiihed for 
moment when all my misfortunes were to have an 
end. On the contrary, it was now they began ; 
misfortunes more cruel than any I Iiad yet ex- 

'^ Hitherto I have fpoken in the fufaiefs of my 
heart, and to do juilice, with the greateft pleafure, 
to the good offices of Mr. Hume. Would to hea« 
▼en, that what remains for me to fay were of the 
fame nature ! It would never give me pain to fpeak 
what would redound to his honour ; nor ii^it pro* 
per to fet a value on benefits till one is accufed of 
ingratitude ; and Mr. Hume now accufes me. I 
will, therefore, venture to make one obfervation. 
In eftimating his fervices by the time and pains they 
coft him, they were of an infinite value, and that 
ftill more from his good will in their performance ; 
but for the adkual fervice they were of to me, it 
was much more in appearance than in reality. I 
did not come over as a mendicant to beg my bread 
in England ; I . brought the means of fubfiftence 
with me. I came merely to feek ati afylum in a 
country which is open to every ftranger. I was, 
befides, not fo totally unknown, that even, if 1 
had arrived alone, I (hould have wanted either 
afTiftance or fervice. If fome perfons' have fought 
my acquaintance for the fake of Mr. Hume, othen 
have fought it for my own. Thus when Mr% 


Of J^AVID HUMB^^ BfQ* ftO^ 

Davenport^ for example, was fo kind as to offer 
my prefent retreat, it vf3S not for the lake of Mr. 
Hume, whom he did not know, and whom he faw 
only in order to defire him to make me his obli^g 
propofaK So that when Mr. Hume endeavours to 
alienate from me this worthy man, he feeks to take 
from me what he did not give me *. All the good 
that has been done me, would have been done me 
nearly the fame without him, and perhaps better ; 
but the evil would not have been done me : for 
why fhould I have enemies in England ? Why are 
thbfe enemies the very friends of Mr. Hume ? Who 
could have excited their enmity againft me ? It 
was certainly not I, who knew nothing of them, 
nor evir faw them in my life : I (hould not have 
had a fingle enemy, if I had come to England 

alone t* 

^* I have hitherto dwelt upon public and noto- 
rious fa£ts, which, from their own nature, and my 

* M. RouiTcaa forms a wrong judgment of mcy and ought to 
know me better. I have written to Mr. Davenport , even fmce 
our rupture, to engage btm to continue bis kindnefs to his un- 
happy gueft. Hume. 

f How ftrange are the effeds of a difordered imagination ! 
M. Rouileau teUs us he is ignorant of what pafles in the worlds 
and yet talks of the enemies he has in Engbnd. How does he 
know this ? Where did he fee them ? He has received nothing 
but marks of beneficence and hofpitality. Mt*. Walpole is the 
only perfoo who has thrown out a littk piece of raillery againft 
him } but ia not therefore his enemy. If M* Rouffeau could 
have feen things tau&Lj as they are, he would have feen that 
he had no other friend in England but me, and no other enemy 
bothimCelf, HuMa, 

7 acknow- 


acknowledgment, have made the greateft eclatm 
Thofe which are to follow are not only particular^r 
but fecret, at lead, in their caufe, and all poffiUe 
meafures have been takeiK to keep the knowledge 
of them from the public ; but as they are well 
known to the perfon interefted, they will not have 
the lefs influence towards his own convidion. 

^* A very fhort time after our arrival in London, 
I obferved there an abfurd change in the minds of 
the people regarding me, which foon became very 
apparent. Before I arrived in England, there was 
not a country in Europe in which I had a greater 
reputation, I might indeed venture to fay, greater 
eftimation. The public papers were full o| enco- 
miums on me, and a general outcry prevailed agsunft 
my perfecutors. This was the cafe at my arrival, 
which was announced in the newfpapers with tri- 
umph : England prided itfelf in aflfording me re* 
fuge, and juilly gloried on that occaflon in its laws 
and government. On a fudden, and without the 
lead aflignable caufe, this tone was changed; and 
that fo fpeedily and totally, that of all (he caprices 
of the public, there never was known any thing 
more furprlfing. The fignal was given in a certain 
magazine, equally full of follies and falfehoods, in 
which the author, being well informed, or pre* 
tending to be fo, gives me out for the fon of a 
mufician. From this time, I was conflantly fpoken 
of in the public prints in a very equivocal or fight- 
ing manner. Every thing that had been publiflied 
concerning my misfortunes was mifreprefented, al- 



teredo or 'placed in a wrong light, and always as 
much as poflible to my difadvantage. So far was 
any body from (peaking of the reception which I 
met with at Paris, and which . had made but too 
much noife, it was not even fuppofed, that I durfl: 
have appeared in that city ; and one of Mr. Hume's 
friends was very much furprifed when I told him I 
cariie through it. 

^' Accuftomed as I had too much been to the in« 
conftancy of the public, to be affe£ted by this in- 
ftance of it, I could not help being aftonifhed, 
however, at a change fo very fudden and general, 
that not one of thofe who had fo much praifed me 
in my abfence, appeared, now I was prefent, to 
think even of my exiftence. I thought it fome- 
thing very odd, that, exadly after the return of 
Mr. Hume, who has fo much credit in London, 
fo much influence over the bookfellers and men of 
letters, and fuch great connexions with them, his 
prefence (hould produce an efFeft fo contrary to 
what might have been expeXed ; that among fo 
many writers of every kind, not one of his friends 
(hould (hew himfeif to be mine ; while it was eafy 
to be feen, that thofe who fpoke of him were not 
his enemies, fince, in noticing his public charafter, 
they reported that I had come through France un- 
der his proteftion, and by favour of a paflfport 
which he had obtained of the court ; nay, they al- 
moft went fo far as to infmuate, tha^ I came over 
in his retinue, and at his expence. 




^^ All this was of little fignificatioo^ and was ofily 
fingular ; but what was much more fo, was^ tfatt 
his friends changed their tone with me as mudi as 
the public. I (ball always take a pleafure in fay* 
ing9 that they were ftill equally foUcitous to tare 
me, and that they exerted themfelves greally in my 
favour ; but fo far were they from fhewing me the 
fame refped, particularly the gentleman at whofe 
houfe we alighted on our arrival, that he accompa* 
nied all his anions with difcourfe fo rude, and 
fometimes fo infulting, that one would have thought 
he had taken an occafion to oblige me, merely to 
have a right to exprefs his contempt *. His bfx>- 
ther, who was at firft very polite and obliging, al- 
tered his behaviour with fo little referve, diat he 
would hardly deign to fpeak a fingle word to me^ 
even in their own houfe, in return to a civil faluta*- 
tion, or to pay any of thofe civilities which are 
ufually paid in like circumflances to fbangert. 
Nothmg new had happened, however, except the 
arrival of J. }• Roufleau and David Hume ; and 
certainly the caufe of thefe alterations did not come 
from me, unlefs indeed too great a portion of fim^ 
plicity, difcretion, and modefty be the caufe of 
oflfence in England. 

* This relites to my friend Mr. John Stewarty who enter*' 
ttincd M. Rooffeau at hit houfe^ and did him all the good offices 
in hit power* M. RoulTeaUi in complaining of this gentkmaa's 
bchaTioury foigcts that he wrote Mr. Stewart from Wooton, a 
letter full of icknowledgmentSy and juft expicfliont of gratis 
tude. What M. Roufleau adds, regarding the brother of Mr* 
Stcwaity ii neither civil nor true. Humi. 


or DAVID HUMS, ISQ* 20$ 

- *^ As to Mr* Hume, he was fo far from aflumin^ 
fech a difgafting tone, that he gave into the other 
extreme. I have always looked upon flatterers 
with an eye of fnffMcion ; and he was fo full of all 
kinds of flattery *, that he even obliged me, when 
1 could bear it no longer f, to tell him my fenti» 
ments on that head. His condu£): was fuch as to 
render few words neceflary ; yet I could have 
wiflied he had fometimes fubftituted, in the place 
of fuch grofs encomiums, the (lyle of a friend ; but 
I never found in his language any thing which 
favoured of true friendfliip, not even in his manner 
of fpeaking of me to others in my prefence. One 
would have thought that, in endeavouring to pro« 
cure me patrons, he ftrove to deprive me of their 
good-will ; that he fought rather to have me afli(led 
than beloved ; and I have been fometimes furprifed 
at the rude turn he has given to my behaviour be« 
fore people, who might not unreafonably have taken 
offence at it. An example will explain this. Mr* 
Penneck of the mufeum, a friend of Lord Marifl 
thai, and paftor of a parifli where thiey wi^ed me 

* I Oiall mcntieD onlj o«e, which made me fmile : it was hit 
care to haf€ twerj time, I came to fee him^ a volmne of Eloifa 
upon his table ; as if I did not know enough of Mr. Hume's 
tafte, to be weU affured that of all books in the world, 
Eloifa rnnft be one of the moft tirefometo him. Roossbau. 

f The reader may judgt from the two firft letters of M* 
Ronfieao, which 1 hare poUilhed with that ykw, on which fide 
the flatteries commenced* As for the reft, I loved and efteemed 
M. RouflEean, and took a pleafnre in giving him to underftand (b. 
I might peitiaps be too lavifli in my praifes i bat 1 can afRire 
the reader, that he never complained of it . Hu m s , 

P to 


to rcfide, came to fee us. Mr. Hume made ihy cx- 
cufes, while I myfcif was prefent, for not having 
paid bini a vifit. Dodor Maty, faid he, inyited 
us to the Mufeiim on Thurfday, where M. Rouf- 
feau (hould have feen you ; but he chofe rather to 
go with Mrs. Garrick to the play : we could not do 
both the fame day ♦. You will confefs. Sir, this 
was a method of recommending me to Mr. 

" I know not what Mr. Hume might fay of me 
in private to his acquaintances, but nothing was 
more extraordinary than their behaviour to me, 
even by his own confeffion, and even oftea through 
his own means. Although my purfe was not empty, 
and I needed not that of any other perfon, as he 
very well knew ; yet any one would have thought, 
that I was come over to fubfift at the expence of the 
public, and that nothing more was to be done than 
to give me alms in fuch a manner as to fave me a 
little embarraffinent f. I muil own, that this con- 
fiant and infolent piece of afteftation was one of 

* I doTi't rccolkd a iiagle circumAance of thit hiftory*; bat 
what makes me give very little credit to it ttf, that I remenbcr 
very well we had fettled two different days for the purpofc of 
vititin^ the Muftam, and going to the play. Hume. 

f I conceive M. Rouffeau hints here at two or three diiuien 
which were fent him from tSe houfe of Mr. Stcwirt-^ when he 
chofe to dine at his own lodgings : this was not done» however, 
to fave him the expence of a meal, bat becaufe there WM no 
convenient tavern or chop>houfc in the neighbourhood. I beg 
the re.idcr's pardon for dcfcending to fuch trivial ptrttculart. 



thofe things u^hich made me averfe to refide in 
London. This certainly is not the footing on 
which a man fhould be introduced in England, if 
there be a defign of procuring him ever fo little 
refped ; but this.difplay of charity may admit of a 
more favourable interpretation^ and I confent it 
Ihould. To proceed. 

*' At Paris was publiflied a fiditious letter from 
the King of Pruffia, addrefled to me, and replete 
with the moft cruel malignity. I learned with fur- 
prife, that the publifher of it was one Mr. Wal- 
pole, a friend of Mr. Hume. 1 afked him, if it 
was true ; but in anfwer to this queflion, he aiked 
me from whom I had the information. A mo* 
ment before he had given me a card for this fame 
Mr. Walpole, for the purpofe of prevailing on him 
to bring over fome papers of mine from Paris, 
which I wanted to have by a fafe hand. 

*' I was informed that the fon of that quack 
Fronchin, my mofl mortal enemy, was not only 
the friend of Mr. Hume, and under his proredion, 
but that they both lodged in the fame boufe ; and 
when Mr. Hume found that I knew this, he im* 
parted it in confidence to me; affuring me that 
the fon by no means refembled the father. I 
lodged a few nights myfelf, together with my go- 
vernante, in the fame houfe ; and from the air and 
coldnefs with which we were received by the land- 
ladies, who are his friends, I judged in what man- 
ner either Mr. Hume, or that man, who, as he 

. P 2 faid. 


iaidy was by no metns like his father, muft have 
^ken to them both of her and me *• 

^* AH thefe fa6ls put together, added to a cer- 
tain appearance of things on the whole, infenfibly 
gave me an uneaiiners, which I rejected with hor« 
ror. In the mean time, the letters I wrote did not 
come to hand ; thofe I received had often been 
opened ; and all went through the hands of Mr« 
Hume f. If at any time a letter efcaped him, he 


* Thus am I accufed of treacbeiy, becaufe I am a friend of 
Mr. Walpolc, who has thrown out a little raillery on M. Roof- 
fean ; and becaufe the fon of a man wfiom M. Rouflcau doei not 
like, lodges bj accident in the fame houfe with mci; becauft 
mj Jandladieay who do not nnderftand a fyllabk of French, re- 
ceived M. Roufieau coldly. As to the reft, all that I faid to 
M. RoufTeau about the young Fronchin was, that he had not 
the fame pr^udiccs againft him as his father had. Hu m c* 

f The following note was infctted in fome editions of the 
pamphlet already mentioned: 

The ftory of M. Roufleau's letters it ai follows : He had 
often been complaining to me, and with reafon, that he was 
ruined by poftage at Neufchatel, which commonly coft him a j 
or 26 louis d'ors a-year 5 and all for letters which were of 116 
fignificance, being wrote, fome of them by people, who took 
that opportunity of abufing him, and moft of them by perfom 
unknown to him. He was, therefore, refoWed, he (atd» to 
receive in England, do letters which came by the poft ; and the 
fame-refolution he reiterates in his letter to me, dated the 23d 
of March. When he went to Chifwick, near London, the 
poftman brought his letters to me* I carried him out a cargo 
of them : he exclaimed, defired me to return the letterSf and 
recover the price of poftage : I told him, that, in that cale^ 
the clerks of the poft-office were entire mafters of his letten. 
He faid, he was indifferent ; they might do with them what 


OF DAVID HUME, ir8(l« %l^ 

could not conceal his eagernefs to fee it. One 
evening in particular I remember a circumftance 
of this kind, which greatly ftruck me *• After 

they pleafed. I added, that he would by that means be cut 
off from all correfpondence with his friends : he reph'ed, that he 
would give a particular dire£lion to fuch as he defircd to cor- 
refpond with. But till his inftrudtions for that purpofe could 
arrive, what could I do more friendly, than to fa¥e, at my own 
expence, his letters from the curiolity and indifcretion of the 
clerks of the poft-office ? I am indeed . afhamed to 6nd mjfelf 
obliged to difcover fuch petty circumftances. Hvvib. 

* It is neceilary to explain this circumstance. I was writ* 
injif on Mr. Hume's table, during his abfence^ ifti anfwer to a 
letter I had jud received. He came in, very curious to know 
what I was writing, and hardly able to contain himfelf from 
defiring to read it. I clofed my letter, however, without 
(htwing'it him ; and as I was putting it into my pocket, he 
aiked me for it eagerly, faying, he would fend it away on the 
morrow, being poll-day. The letter lay on the table. Lord 
Newnham came in» Mr, Hume went out of the room for a 
moment ; on which I took the letter up again, faying I (hould 
find time to fend it the next day. Lord Newnham offered to 
get it iiiclofcd in the French ambaflador's packet ; which I 
accepted. Mr. Hume re-entered the moment hk LordAup had 
inclofcdit, and was pulling out hisfeal. . Mr. Hume officioufl/ 
offered his own feal, and that with fo much camednefs^ that it 
could not well be rtfafv.d. The bell was rung, and Lord 
Newnham gave the letter to Mr. Hume's fervant, who was to 
give it to his Lordihip's lacquey waiting below with the cha- 
riot, in order to have it fent to the ambaflador. Scarcely had 
Mr. Hume's fervant got out of the room, but I faid to mjk\£» 
I win lay a wager the maftcr follows. He did not fail to do as 
I expelled. Not knowing how to leave Lord Newnham alone^ 
I (laid fome time before I followed Mr. Hume. I faid nothing ; 
but he eafily pcrccmd that I was uneafy. Thus, although I 
have Kceived no anfwer to my letter, I doubt not of its going 
to hand ; but I confef^ I cannot help fufpcding it was read 
firft. RoussEAV. 

P 3 fupper. 


fuppcr, as we were fitting filent by the firc- 
lide, I caught his eyes intently fixed on mine, as 
indeed happened very often ; and that in a man- 
ner of which it is very difficult to give an idea. At 
that time he gave me a ftedfaft, piercing look, 
mingled with a fneer, which greatly difturbcd me. 
To get rid of my embarralTinint, I endeavoured to 
look Ml at hint in my turn ; bur, in fixing my 
eyes upon his, I felt the moft inexpreffible terror, 
and was foon obliged to turn them away. The 
fpeech and phyfiognomy of the good David is that 
of an honefl: man ; but where, great God ! did this 
honeft man borrow thofe eyes which he fixes on his 
friend's ? 

" The impreffion of this look remained with 
me, and gave me much uneafinefs. My trouble 
increafed even to a degree of fainting ; and if I had 
not been relieved by a flood of tears, I muft have 
been fuflfbcated. Prefcntly after this I was feized 
with the moft violent remorfc : I even defpifed my- 
felf; till, at length, in a tranfport, which I ftill 
remember with delight, I fprang on his neck, and 
embraced him eagerly ; while almoft choked with 
fobbing, and bathed in tears, I cried out, in 
broken accents, No^ ;;(?, David Hume cannot be 
treacherous ; if he be not the bed of men^ he muji he 
the bafcji ♦. David Hume politely returned my 

* The whole dialogue in this fcene i« artificially contrived to 
prepare* and found on it, a part of the tifTue of fables in this 
letter. What I have to fay on this point will appear in my «n« 
Iwer to M« Rouffcau. Hume* 



embraces, and geutly tapping me on ihc back, re-^ 
peated feveral times, in a placid tone, Wby^ what^ 
my ftear Sir / Nay^ my dear Sir / Ob / my dear 
Sir! He faid nothing more. I felt my heart yearn 
within me. We went to bed ; and I fct out the 
next day for the country. 

*' Arrived at this agreeable afylum, io which I 
have travelled fo for in fearch of repofe, I ought to 
find it in a retired, convenient, and pieaFant habi- 
tation ; the mafter of which, a man of underftand- 
ing and worth, fpares in nothing to render my 
refidence. agreeable. But what repofe can be 
taded in life, when the heart is agitated ? AQIided 
with the mod cruel uncertainty, and ignorant what 
to think of a man whom I ought to love, I fought 
to get rid of that fatal doubt, by placing confidence 
in my benefador. ForfroiQ what inconceivable 
caprice fhould he difplay fo much apparent zeal 
for my happinefs, and, at the fame time, entertain 
fecret defigns againft my honour ? Among the ob- 
servations which didurbed nie, each facl: was in it- 
felf of no great moment : it was their concurrence 
that was furprifing ; yet I thought, perhaps, that 
Mr. Hume, informed of other fa£b of which I 
was ignorant, could have given me a fatisfaSory 
folution of them, if we had come to an explana- 
tion. The only inexplicable thing was, that he 
refufed to come to fuch an explanation ; which 
both his honour and his friendfhip for me rendered 
equally neceiTary. I perceived there was fome* 
thing in the afiair which 1 did not comprehend, and 

P 4 which 

f l5 LIFE AK1> W&ITlKOf 

which I ^arneftly wiflied to know. Before I came 
to an abfolute detenDinadon, dierefore, with re- 
gafd to him, I was defirous of aiakiiig a laft effort, 
and to write him with a view to try to recover him, 
if he had permitted himfelf to be feduced by my 
memies, or to prevail on him to explain himfelf 
one way or other. Accordingly I wrote him a 
letter, which he ought to have fonnd very natural *, 
if he were guilty ; but very extraordmary, if he 
were innocent. For what could be more extract- 
dinary than a letter fiill of gratitude for his fervicet, 
and, at the fame time, of diftruft of his fentiments } 
and in which, placing, as it were, his a&ions cm 
one fide, and his fentiments on the other, inftead 
of fpeakiDg of the proo& of friendfhip he had given 
me, I befought him to love me, for the good he 
had done me t* * I did not take the precaution to 
preferve a copy of this letter ; but as he has done 
ft), let him produce it : and whoever reads it, 
and fees in it a man labouring tinder a fecret 
trouble, which he is defirous of expreiling, but is 
afraid to do fo, will, I am perfuadedj be curious to 
know what ecclairciflement it produced, efpecially 
after the preceding fcene. None : abfolutely none. 
Mr. Hume contented himfelf, in his anfwer, with 

* It appears from what he wrote to me afterwards* that he 
was very well fatistied with this letter, and that he took it.Tery 
well. Rousseau. 

f My anfwer to this is contained in M. Rouflcau's better of 
the aid of March, wherein he exprefles himfelf with the ut- . 
moft cordiality, without any referve, and without the leaft sp* 
pearauGC of f ofpicioa. Hv m i. 

8 teiiiAg 


telling me the obligmg offices Mr. Davenport pro* 
pofed to do for me. As for the reft, he faid not a 
word on the principal fofajeA of my letter, nor on 
the fituation of my heart, of the diftrefs of .which 
be co^Id not be ignorant. I was more ftruck with 
this filence, than I had been with his phlegm during 
our laft converfaticm. I was wrong : this fiience 
was very natural after the other, and was no mom 
than I ought to have expeded. For when one has 
ventured to declare to a man^s face, / am tempted 
to believe you a irait^y and he'has not the curbfity 
to aik you for tubaty k may be depended on he 
will never have any foch curiofity as long as ho 
lives : and it is eafy to judge of this man from thefe 
flight indications. 

After the receipt of his letter, which was long 
delayed, I determined at length to write to him no 
more. Soon after, every thing ferved to confirm 
me in the refolution to break off all iarther corre- 
fpondence with him. Curious to the lad degree 
concerning the minuted circumftance of my affairs^ 
he was not content to learn them of me in our 
converiations ; but, as 1 learned, never let flip an 
opportunity of being alone with my governante *, 
to interrogate her even importunately concerning' 
my occupations, my refources, my friends, my 
acquamtances^ their names, fituations, places of 

* I had oaYy one tach iiU'-4hiSu with Ms govemantCy which 
wii on her arrival in London* I mi;ft own it never entered 
into my head to talk to her upon any other fubject than the 
cQneema of M. Ronflcaiu Hv«i. 

. abode ; 


abode; nay, u'ith the moft jefuitical addrdi, he 
vould afk the fame queftions of us feparateiy. One 
ought undoubtedly to intereft one's felf in.tbe 
affairs of a friend.; but one ought to be latit- 
fied with what he thinks proper to tell of them, 
cfpecially when people are fo frank and confiding 
as I am. Indeed all this petty inquirittvenefs is very 
Httle becoming a philofopher. 

^ About the fame time I received two other 
letters which had been opened. The one front 
Mr. Bofwelly the feal of which was in fo bad a 
condition, that Mr. Davenport, when he received 
it, made the fame remark to Mr. Hume's fervant. 
The other was from M. d'lvemois, in Mr. Hume's 
packet : it had been fealed up again by means of a 
hot iron, which, being aukwardly applied, had burnt 
the paper round the impreffion. On this I wrote to 
Mr. Davenport, and defired him to take charge of 
all letters which might be fent to me, and to 
trull none of them in any body's hands, under any 
pretext whatever. I know not whether Mr. Da* 
venport, who certainly was far from thinking that 
precaution regarded Mr. Hume, fhewed him my 
letter ; but I know that Mr. Hume had every reafon 
to think he had loft my confidence, and that he pro- 
ceeded neverthclefs in his ufual manner, without 
troubling himfelf about the recovery of it. 

** But what was to become of me, when I faw, 
in the public papers, the pretended letter of the 
King of Pruflia, which I had never before feejij 



that fiftitious letter, printed in French and Eng- 
lifli, given for genuine, even with the fignature 
of the Kinj^, and in which I recognized the pen of 
M. d^iilembertas certainly as if I had feen him 
write it. 

" In a moment, a ray of light difcovered to mc 
the fecret caufe of that touching and fudden change 
in the Englilh public refpefting me; and 1 faw 
that the plot, which was put in execution at L021- 
don, had been laid in Paris* 

" M. d'Alembert, another intimate friend of 
Mr. Hume, had been long my fecre^ enemy, and 
lay in watch for opportunities to injure me without 
expofmg himfelf. He was the only perfon amon^ 
the men of letters, of my old acquaintance, who' 
did not come to* fee me*,; or fend their civilities 
during my lad journey through Paris } I knew his 
fecret dlfpbfition, but I gave myfcjf very littlo 
trouble about itj contenting myfelf with occafloa- 
ally apprifing my friends of it, I remember, that 
being afked about him one day by Mr« Hume, 
who afterwards aiked my govemante the lame 
queftion; I told him that M. d'Alembert was a 
cunning, artful man. He contradided me with a 
warmth that furprifed me } who did not then know 

* M. RoulTeau declares himfelf to have been fatigued witk 
the V](it8 he received : ought he» therefore^ to complaia that 
M. d' A1<rmberty whom he did not Yike, did not importune him 
vrtthhift? HuMi. 



that they ftood fo well with each other, and that 
it was his own caufe he defended. 

^ The perufal of the letter above mentioned 
alarmed me a good deal, when, perceiving that I 
had been brought over to England in confequence 
of a projed which began to be put in execution^ 
but of the end of which I was ignorant, I felt the 
danger without knowing where it was, or on whom 
to rdj. I then recolle£ted four terrifying words 
which Mr. Hume had made ufe of, and of which 
I fliall fpeak hereafter. What could be thought 
of a paper in which my misfortunes were imputed 
to me as a crime, which tended, in the midft of 
my diflrefs, to deprive me of the compaflion of the 
world, and, to render its effed dill more cruel, 
pretended to have been written by a prince who had 
afforded me protefiion ? What could I divine would 
be the confequence of fuch a beginning? The 
people in England read the public papers, and are 
in nowife prepoflfefled in favour of foreigners. 
Even a coat, cut in a diflferent fafhion from their 
own, is fufiicient to excite their ill-humour. What 
then had not a poor (Iranger to exped in his rural 
walks, the only pleafures of his life, when the 
good people were perfuaded he was fond of being 
pelted with ftones ? Doubtlefs they would be ready 
enough to contribute to his favourite amufement. 
But my concern, my profound and cruel concern, 
the bitterefl: indeed I ever felt, did not arife from 
the danger to which I was expofed. I had braved 



too many others to be much moved by that. 
The treachery of a falfe friend * to which I had 
fallen a prey, was the circumftance that filled my 
too fufccptible heart vrith deadly forrow. In the im- 
petuofify of its firft emotions, of which I never yet 
was mailer, and of which my enemies have artful- 
ly taken the advantage, I wrote feveral letters full 
of diftrefs, in which I did , not difguife either my 
uneafinefs or indignation* 

^^ I have. Sir, fo many things to mention, that 
I forget half of them by the way. For inftance, a 
narrative in form of a letter, on my mode of living 
at Montmorency, was givjen by- the bookfellers to 
Mr. Hume, who ihewed it me. I agreed to its 
being printed, and Mr. Hume undertook the care 
of editing it ; but it never appeared. I had brought 
over with me a copy of the letters of M. du Pey- 
rou, containing a relation of the treatment I had 
met with at Neufchatel. I gave them into the 
hands of the fame bookfellers at their own requeft^ 
to have them tranflated and reprinted. Mr. Hume 
charged himfelf with the care of them ; but they 
never appeared f. The fuppofititious letter of the 


♦ This falfe friend \s, ondoubtedlf , mjfelf. But what it 
the tnachery ? What harm have I done, or could I do to M. 
RouiTeau ? On the fuppofition of mj entering into a projed tq 
ruin him, hpw could I think to bring it about by the Cervices I 
did him ? If M. ftoufTeau fhould gain credit, I muft be thought 
ftiU more weak than wicked. Hums. 

f The bookfellen have lately informed me that the edition ia 
fii|iflwdy and ready to be pubHflied. TJiis may be ; but it it 



King of PrufHa, dnd its tranflation, had no foonef 
made their appearance, than I immediately com* 
prehended why the other pieces had been fuppreff- 
ed *, and I wrote as much to the bookfellers. I 
wrote feveral other letters alfo, which probably 
were handed about London : till at length I em- 
ployed the credit of a man of quality and merit, to 
infert a declaration of the impoilure in the public 
papers. In this declaration, I concealed no part 
of my extreme concern ; nor did I in the lead dif- 
guife the caufe« 

** Hitherto Mr. Hume feems to have walked in 
darknefs. You will foon fee him appear in open 
day, and ad: without difguife. We have only to 
a£t ingenuoufly towards cunning people : fooner or 
later they will infallibly betray themfelves. 

' *^ When this pretended letter from the King of 
Pruflia was firft publifiied in London, Mr. Hume, 
who certainly knew that it was fiditious, as I had 
told him fo, faid nothing of the matter ; he did net 
write to me, but was totally filent ; and did not 
even think of making any declaration of the 

too late, and what ib dill worfe, it is too opportune for the 
purpofe intended to be ferved. Rousseau. 

♦ It IS about four months fincc Mr. Bccket, the bookCellcr, 
told M. Roufleau th^t the pubh'cation of thefc pieces was re- 
tarded by (he indifpofition of the tranflator. At for any thing 
elfc, I never promifcd to take any charge of the edition, as Mr. 
Beckct can teilify. Hume. 



truth, in favour of his abfent friend *. It anfwered 
hb purpofe better to let the report take its courfe, 
as he did. 

** Mr. Hume having been my conduftor into 
England, was in a manner my protestor and pa^ 
fron. If it were natural in him to undertake 
my defence, it was not lefs fo, that, when I had a 
public proteftation to make, i ihould addre& 
myfelf to him ; but having already ceafed writing 
to him, I had no wi(h to renew our correfpondence. 
I addreffed myfelf therefore to another perfoa* 
This was the firft flap on the faoe I gave my pa- 
tron. He felt nothing of it. 

*' In £iying that the . letter was fabricated ^ 
Paris, it was of very little confcquence to me whe- 
ther it was underftood particularly of M. d'Alem- 
bert, or of Mr. Walpole, whofe name he borrow- 
ed on the occafion. But in adding that what af- 
flifted and tore my heart was, that the impoftor had 
got his accomplices in England, I exprefled my- 
felf very clearly to their friend, who was in L,oii- 
don, and was defirous of paffing for mine. For 
certainly he was the only perfon in England, whofe 
hatred could afflift and rend my heart. This was 
the fecond flap on the face I gave my patron. He 
felt nothing of it. ' 

* Nobody could poiHbly be miftaken with regard to the 
letter's being (i3;itiou8 ; bcfides it was i^ell known, that Mr. 
Walpole wa3 the author of it. Hums. 

« On 


^^ On the contrary^ he maliciouily pretendedp 
that my afflldion arofe folely from the publicaiion 
of the above letter, in order to make me pals for 
a Tain man, who was exci-ilively affe£led by fatire. 
Whether I am vain or not, certain it is I was mortally 
afflided : he knew it, and yet wrote me not a word. 
To this aiTeftionate friend, who had fo much aif 
heart the filling of my purfe, it gave little trou« 
ble to think that my heart was bleedingwith forrow. 

^^ Another piece appeared foon after, in the 
fame papers, by the author of the former, and 
fiill, if poffible, more cruel, in which the writer 
could not difguife his rage at the reception I met 
with at Paris *. This, however, did not aflfefl me ; 
it told me nothing new. Libels may take thdr 
courfe without giving me any emotion ; and the 
inconftant public may amufe themfelves as long as 
they pleafe with the fubjed. This is not an affair of 
confpirators, who, bent on the deftrudion of my 
honeft fame, are determined by fome means or 
other to effed it : it was neceilary to change the 

** The afllair of the penfion was not determined. 
It was not difficult, however, for Mn Hume to ob* 
tain its fettlement, from the humanity of the minif* 
ter ancf the generofity of the Prince. He was 
charged with informing me of it, and he did fo. 
This, 1 mud confefs, was one of the critical mo* 

* I knew nothing of thii pretended libel. Hums. 


01^ DAVID HUME, ESQ. d%5 

ments ot my life. How much did it coft me to do 
my duty. My preceding engagements, the necef- 
fity of fhewing a due refpeft for the goodnefs of 
the King, the honour of being the objeft of his atten- 
tions and thofe of his minifter, with the defire of 
fhewing how fenfible I was of both, and the advan* 
tage of being made a little more eafy in circum* 
ftances in the decline of life, furrounded as I was 
by enemies and evils ; in fine, the embarraflment I 
was under to find a decent excufe for declining a 
benefit already half accepted : all thefe together 
made the necefCty of that refufal very difficult and 
cruel ; for neceflary it was, elfe I fhould have been 
one of the bafeft of mankind to have voluntarily 
laid myfelf under an obligation to a man who had 
betrayed me. 

*• I did my duty, though not without reludance. 
I wrote immediately to General Conway, and, in 
the mofl civil and refpedfui manner poffible, with« 
out giving an abfolute refufal, excufed myfelf from 
accepting the penfion for the prefent. 

** Mr. Hume had been the negociator of this 
affair, and the only perfon who had fpoke of it. 
Yet i not only did not give him any anfwer^ 
though it was he who wrote to me on the fubjeS, 
but did not even fo much as mentioti him in my 
letter to General Cpnway. This was the third 
IQap on the face I gave my patron ; which, if he 
does not feel, it is certainlj bis dwii fi^ilt : he can 
feel nothing* 


*^ My letter was nat clear, nor could it be fo to 
General Conway, who did not know the mouve» 
of my refufal ; but it was very plain to Mr. Hume, 
who knew them but too well. He neverthelefs pre- 
tended to be deceived as well with regard ta 
the. caufe of my difcontent, as to that of my do* 
clining the penfion ; and in a letter he wrote me 
on the occafion, gave me to underftand that the 
King's goodnefs might be continued towards me, if 
I would re-confider the affair of the penfion. In a 
word, he feenied determined, at all events, to re- 
main ftiU my patron, in fpite of my teeth. You 
]n^ill imagine. Sir, he did not expe£t my anfwer ^ 
and he had none. 

*^ Much about this time, for I do not know 
a£tly the date, nor is fuch prccifion neceffary, ap* 
peared a letter from M. de Voltaire to me, with an 
Knglifh tranflation, ^yhich {till improved on .the 
original *. Tht noble objed of this ingenious per- 


* This piece of fatire was adJrcfled, au Dodeur Jean'Jacqwi 
Panfipbe, Roufleau had accufcd Voltaire of beings an athdft ; 
and this gave rife to the letter in which Voltaire is made to deay, 
that he is an atheift) either in his heart, or his books. It is 
particularly feverei as the following paragraph will fliew: 

** Judicieux admirateur de la b^tife et de la brutalit6 det 
fauvages, vous avez crie contre les fciences, et cultire les £ci* 
ences. Vous avez traite les auteurs et les philofophes cornme 
charlatans ; et pour prouver d'example, vous avez ete auteur# 
Vous avez ecrit contre la comedie, avec la devotion d'un Capu- 
cliia» et vous avez fait dc m^chanteft comedies. Votts avez re« 
garde comme une chofe abominable qu'un .fatcape oa.uii JDhc 



ibrmance was to draw on me the contempt and 
hatred of the people among whom I was come to 
refide. I made not the leaft doubt that my dear 
patron was one of the inftruments of its publica- 
tion ; particularly when I faw that the writer, in en- 
deavouring to alienate from me thofe who might 
render my life agreeable, had omitted the name of 
him who brought me over. He doubtlefs knew 
that it was fuperfluous, and that with regard to 
him, nothing more was neceflary to be faid. The 
omifHon of his name fo impoliticly in this letter, re- 
called to my mind, what Tacitus fays of the pic- 
ture of Brutus, omitted in a funeral folemnity, viz. 
that every body took notice of the circumftancet 
.merely becaufe th^ pidure was not there. 

ttit du fupc rflu» et rout avez copi£ de la mufique pour . dct 
fatrapes ou des Dues qui vout payoient avec ce fuperflu* Vous 
avcz barbouilM un Roman ennuycuzy ou un pedagogue fttb« 
orne honn^tement fa pupille en lui enfeignant la ^rtu; et la 
,£Ue modefte couche bono6tement arec k pedagogue ; et elle 
fouhaitc de tout fou cceur qu'il lui fafle un enfant ; et elle parlc 
toujours de fagefle avec fon J<mx ami ; et elle derient femme* . 
mere, tt la plus tendre amie d'un ^pouz qu'elle n'aime pourtant 
pat ; et elle vit et mcurt en faifonnant, mais fans rouloir prier 
Dieu* Dodeur Panfophe» tous ttt% fait le pr6cepteur d*uii 
certain £mile» que vout formez infeniiblement par det moyena 
impraticables ; et pour faire un bon cbritieny vous detruifez 
la religion chr6ticnne. Vous profcfTez par-tout un fiocere at- 
tachement a la rev61atton> en prftcbant le deifmey ce qui n'em- 
p6cbe pas que cbez vous les d^iftet et let philofopbet confE" 
quens ne foient des athees. J'admire, comme je le dois, tant de 
candcur et de juflefie d'efprit ; nuus pcrmittez-moi de grace de 
croire en Dicu. Vous pouvez 6tre un fopbifle» un mauvais 
raifonneur, et par confequent un ^crivainpour le moins inutile^ 
fans que je Ibis un athie/' &c. R. 

Qji !*Mr. 


^' Mr. Hume then is not mentioned , but he 
lives and converfes with people that were mentioned. 
It is well known, that his friends are all my ene- 
mies, — the Fronchins, d'Alemberts, and Vol- 
taires * : but it is much worfe in London, for here 
I have no enemies but what are his iriends. For 
why, indeed, ihould I have any other? Why 
fhould I hsive even thefe ? What have I done to 
Lord Littleton ty whom I don't even know? 
What have I done to Mr. Walpole, of whom I 
know as little ? What do they know of me, ex* 
<:ept that I am unfortunate, and the friend of their 
friend Hume? What can he have faid to them, 
/or it is only through him they know me ? I can 
very well imagine that, confidering the pan he has 
to play, he does not unniafk himfelf to every body ; 
for then he would be difguifed to nobody. I can 
very well imagine that he does not fpeak of me to 
General Conway, or the Duke of Richmond, as he 
does in his private converfations with Mr. Walpole, 

• I have never been fo happy as to meet with M. dc Vol- 
taire : he only did me the honour to write me a letter about 
three yvaVs ago. I never faw M. Fronchin in my life, nor ever 
had any corrtfpondence with him. Of M. d'AIemberl's friend- 
ihip, indeed, I am proud to make boad. Hums. 

f M. RoiifTeau, feeing the letter addreCTed to him in the nnmc 
of Voltaire advertlfed in the public papers, wrote to Mr. Da- 
venport, who was then in London, to dedre he would bring it 
him. I told Mr. Davenport, that the printed copy was very 
faulty, but that I would aflc of Lord Littleton a manufcript 
copy, which was corre£^. This is fufHcient to make M. Rouf- 
feau conclude, that Lord Littleton is his mortal enemy, and my 
intimate friend -, and that we have formed a confpiracy againft 
him. He ought rather to have concluded that the printed copy 
Q9uU adt come fi-om mct Hums. 



and his fecret correfpondence vrith M. d* Alembert ; 
but let any one obfcrve the clue which has been 
unravelled at London iince my arrival, and it will 
eafily be feen whether Mr. Hume does not hold the 
principal thread. 

■ - • • • - 

" At length the moment arrived when h was 
thought proper to ftrike the great blow ; the tStSt 
of which was prepared by a new fatirical piece^ 
publifhed in ' the newfpapers **. Had there re* 
mained in me the lead doubt, it would have been 
impoffible to have harboured it after perufing thia 
piece, as it contained fa€ls unknown to any body' 
but Mr. Hume, though exaggerated, it is true, ia 
order to render them odious to the public. 

'^ It is faid in this paper that my door was 
open to the rich and fhut to the poor. Where ia 
the man who knows when my door was open or 
fhut, except Mn Hume, with whom I lived, and by 
whom every body was introduced that I faw ? I 
will except one great perfonage, whom I gladly 
received without knowing him, and whom I fliOuld 
dill have more gladly received if I had known him« 
It was Mr. Hume who told me his name, when he 
was gone ; on which information I was really cba* 
grined, that, as he deigned to mount up two 
pair of ftairs, he was not received in the firfl floor. 

^^ Aa to the poor I have nothing to (ay. I was 
conftantly defirous of feeing lefs company ; but^ un- 

* I hav« never Jbenthis piece, either befin^or afcer itt pob^ 
lication ; nor has it come to the kiiMritdgc •£ MJr foiou to 
i^bon I Uive fpokcn of it. Hu m e« 

Qji willing 


willing to difpleafe any one, I fuflfered myfclf to " 
be dire6ted by Mr. Hume, and received every body 
he introduced, without diftindion, whether rich or^ 

** It is faid in the fame piece, that I received 
my relations very coldly, not to fay any thing worje. 
This general charge relates to my having once 
received with fome indifference the only relation I 
have out of Geneva, and that in the prefence of 
Mr. Hume *• It muft neceflarily be either Mr. 
Hume, or this relation, who fumiihed that piece of 
mtelligence. Now, my coufin, whom I have aU 
ways known for a friendly relative, and a worthy 
man, is incapable of fumifhing materials for public 
fatires againft me. Befides, his fituation in life 
confining him to the converfation of perfons ia 
trade, he has no connexion with men of letters, 
or paragraph writers, and ftill lefs with fatirifts ; 
fo that the article could not come from ' himw 
At the word, can I help thinking that Mr. Hume 
mufl: have endeavoured to take advantage of what 
he faid ; and that he conftrued it in a way the 
mod favourable to his own purpofe? It is not 
improper to add, that after my rupture with 
Mr. Hume, I wrote an account of it to my 

<^ In fine, it is faid in the fame paper, that I 
am apt to change my friends. No great fubtlety is 

* I was not prefent when M. Rouffeau received his coufin : 
I only juft faw them afterwards together for a moment 00 the 
terrace io Backingham-ftrect. HuMS« 

6 secefiary 

or DAVID HUME, ES^ ^^l 

fteceflfary to comprehend what this refle&ion was 
preparative to. 

^^ But let us inquire into fads. I have preferved 
fome very valuable and folid friends for twenty- 
five or thirty years. I have others whofe friend- 
ihip is of a later date, but no lefs firm : and if i 
live, I may preferve them flill longer. I have not 
found, indeed, the fame fecurity in general among 
thofe friendfliips I have made with men of letters* 
I have for this reiafon fometimes changed them, 
and fhall always change them when they appear 
fufpicious: for I am determined never to have 
friends by way of ceremony ; I wifli to have 
them only with a view to (hew them my affec- 

^^ If ever I was fuUy and clearly convinced of 
any thing, I am convinced that Mr. Hume fiir. 
niihed the materials for the above paper. What 
is ftill more, I have not only this abfolute convic- 
tion, but it is very clear to me that Mr. Hume in- 
tended I Ihould : for how can it be fuppofed that a 
man of his fubtlety would expofe himfdf thus, if he 
had wiihed to conceal himfelf?— What was his defign 
in it ? Nothing is more clear. It was to raife my « 
refentment to the highefl: pitch, that he might, with 
greater eclat, ftrike the blow he was preparing to 
give me. He knew, that, to make me commit a 
number of abfurdities, he had nothing more ta 
do than to put me in a paffion. We are now ar- 

(^4 rived 

S3^ I'^.^ AND W&ITiKOS 

rived at the critical moment, which is to {hew whet- 

ther he reafoned well or ill. 

^ It is neceflary to have all the prefence of nmid, 
all the phlegm and refolution of Mr. Hume^ to be 
able to take the part he took, after all that bajs 
paiTed between us. In the embarraifment I wv 
under, in writing to General Conway, I could 
make ufe only of obfcure expreilions ; to which 
Mr. Hume, in quality of my friend, gave what iiw 
terpretation he pleafed. Pretending, therefore, 
though he knew very well to the contrary, thsit it 
was the circumftance of fecrecy which gave me uiv 
ealinefs, he obtained the promife of the Geaenil 
to endeavour to remove it ; and then this ftoical an4 
truly unfeeling man wrote to me the mod friendly 
letter, in which he informed me that he was exert* 
mg' his endeavours to remove this claufe ; but that 
before aiiy thing could be done, it was neceflary to 
know whether I would accept without that condir 
tion, in or^er not to expofe his Majefty to a fecond 

^^ This was. the decifive moment, the end and 
obje£t of all his labours. An anfwer was requir* 
ed : he would have it. To prevent effedually my 
negleft of it, he fent to Mr. Davenport a duplicate 
of his letter } and not content with that precautiooi, 
wrote me word, in another billet, that he could not 
poflibly (lay any longer in London to ferve me> 
I was giddy with amazement, on reading this note. 



Never in my life did I meet with any thing fo ua* 

*^ At length he obtained from me the fo much 
deiired anfwer, and began prefently to triumph* 
Already, in writing to Mr. Davenport, he had treat- 
ed me as a brutal man, and a monfler of ingratitude* 
But he wanted to do ftill more. He thinks his 
meafures well taken, and no proofs can be made to 
appear againft him. He demands an explanation : 
be ihall have it, and here it is. 

^^ That lad ftroke was a maflier-piece. He him- 
felf proves every thing, and that beyond reply. 


^' I will fuppofe, though by way of impollibility^ 
that my complaints againft Mr. Hume never reachr 
ed his ears ; that he knew nothing of them } but 
was as perfedly ignorant of them, as if be had hel4 
no cabal with thofe who are acquainted with thenu 
-«-as completely as if he had refided all the while 
in China *. Yet our behaviour to each other ; 
the laft ftriking words which I faid to him 
in London ; the letter which followed replete 
with fears and anxiety ; my perfevering filence, 
more expreffive than words ; my public and bitter 
complaints with regard to the letter of M. d'Alem- 
bert ; my letter to (he Minifter, who did not write 

* How could I divine fuch chimerical fufpicions ? Mr. Da- 
venport, the only pcrfon of my acquaintance who then faw M. 
RoulTeau, afTures me, that he was perfcdly ignorant of them 
himfelf. HvMB. 



to me, in anfwer to that which Mr. Hume wrote 
to me hlmfelf, and in which I did not mention 
him ; and in fine my refufal, without deigning 
to addrefs myfelf to him, to acquiefce in an affair 
which he had managed in my favour, with my 
own privity, and without any oppofition on my 
part : all this .mud have fpoken in a very forci- 
ble manner, I will not fay to any perfon of the 
leaft fenfibility, but to every man of common fenfe* 

*^ Strange, that after I had broken off* all correfpon* 
dence with him for three months ; after I had made 
no anfwer to any one of his letters, however import* 
ant the fubje£t of it,— furrounded as I was by both 
public and private marks of that afHidion which his 
infidelity occafioned,-— this man, of fo penetrating a 
genius when he pleafes, and yetfo dull as if by na- 
ture, fhould fee nothing, bear nothing, feel nothing, 
be moved at nothing; but without one word of com- 
plaint, juftification, or explanation, fhould continue 
to give the mofl flriking marks of his good will to 
ferve me, in fpite of myfelf ! He wrote to me afieftion- 
ately, that he could not flay any longer in London to 
do me fervice ; as if we had agreed that he (houU 
{lay there for that purpoTe ! This blindnefs, this in- 
fenfibility, this obflinacy, are not in nature ; they 
mufl be accounted for from other motives. Let 
us fet his behaviour in a flift clearer light; for 
this is the decifive point. 

^^ Mr. Hume mufl necelTarily have a£led in this 
affair, either as one of the firfl or laft of mankind. 



There is no medium. It remains to determine 
which of the two it is. 

** Could Mr. Hume, after fo many inftances of 
difdain on my part, have ftill the aftonifhing ge« 
nerofity to perfevere firicercly in ferving me ? He 
knew it was impoflible for me to accept his good 
oiEces, while I entertained for him fuch fentiments 
as I had conceived. He had himfelf avoided an 
explanation. So that to ferve me without jufti- 
fying himfelf, would have been to render his 
fervices ufelefs; this, therefore, was no gene- 

** If he fuppofed that in fuch circumftances I 
fhould have accepted his fervices, he muft have 
believed me to have been a villain. It was then in be« 
half of a man whom he fuppofed to be a fcoundrel, 
that he fo warmly folicited a pcnfion from his Ma* 
jefty. Can any thing be imagined more extra- 
vagant ? 

** But, fuppofe that Mr. Hume, conftantly pur- 
fuing his plan, fliould only have faid to himfelf. 
This is the moment for its execution; for, by 
predin^ RoulTeau to accept the penfion, he will be 
reduced other to accept or refufe it. If he ac- 
cepts it, I fliall, with the proofs I have in hand 
againft him, be able completely to difgrace him : 
if he refufes after having accepted it, he will have 
no pretext, but muft give a r^on for fuch refufal. 



This 19 what I expert: if he accuTes me, he is 


^^ If, I fay, Mr. Hume reafoned with himfelf in 
this manner, he did what was confiftent with his 
plan, and in that cafe very natural. Indeed, this 
is the only way in which his condu£l in the affair 
can be explained, for upon any other fuppofition 
it is inexplicable : if this be not demonftrable, no* 
thing ever was. 

^^ The critical (ituation to which he had now 
reduced me, recalled ftrongly to my mind the four 
words which I mentioned above, and which I 
heard him fay and repeat, at a time when I did 
not comprehend their full force. It was the firft 
night after our departure from Paris. We flept in the 
fame chamber, when, during the night, I h^rd him 
feveral times cry out with great vehemence, in the 
French language, / have youj Roujfeau. I know not 
whether he was awake or afleep *, 

^^ The exprefGon was remarkable in the moqth 
of a man, who is too well acquainted with the 
French language to be miftaken with regard to 
the force or choice of words. I took thefe words, 

• I cannot anfwcr for every thing I may fay in my fleqH and 
much lcf« am I confcious whether or not I dream in French. 
But as M. RoulTcau did not know whether I was afleep or 
awake, when I pronounced thefe terrible words with fuch a 
terrible voice, how is he certain that he himfelf was well awake 
when he heard them ? Hume. 



however, and I could not then take them 
otherwife than in a favourable fenfe, although the 
tone of voice indicated this lefs than the cxpreffion. 
It was indeed a tone of which it is impoffible 
for me to give any idea ; but it correfponded ex- 
actly with thofe terrible looks I have before men- 
tioned. At every repetition of thefe words I was 
feized with a fhuddering and horror I could not 
rcfift ; though a moment's recolleftion reftored 
me, and made me fmile at my terror. The 
next day, all this was fo perfectly obliterated, 
that I did not even once think of it during 
my (lay in London and its neighbourhood. It 
was not till my arrival in this place, that fo many 
things have contributed to recal thefe words to 
my mind ; and indeed recal them every moment. 

• " Thefe words, the tone of which dwells on my 
heart, as if I had but juft heard them ; the long 
and fatal looks fo frequently caft on me ; the pat- 
ting me on the back, with the repetition of my dear 
Shy in anfwer to my fufpicions of his being a trai- 
tor: all this affedh me to fuch a degree, after 
what preceded, that the recoUedion, had I no other 
caufe, would be fufficient to prevent all return of 
confidence: not a night indeed pafies but I think 
I hear, / have you^ Roujpau, ring hi my ears, as if 
he had jufl: pronounced them. 

" Yes, Mr. Hume, I know you have me ; but 
that only by mere externals : you have me in the 
public opinion and judgment of mankind. Tou 



have my reputation, and perhaps my fecurity« 
The general prepoiTtffion is in your favour ; it will 
be very eafy for you to msJ^e me pais for the 
monfter, you have begun to reprefent me ; and I 
already fee the barbarous exultation of my impla* 
cable enemies. The public vfiW no longer fpare me, 
and without any farther inquiry ; every body is oa 
the fide of thofe who have conferred favours, be* 
caufe each is defirous to attrad the £3ime good 
offices, by difplaying a fenfibility of the obligation* 
I forefee readily the confequences of all this, par- 
ticularly in the country to which you have con* 
du£ted me } and where, being without friends and 
a (tranger to every body, I lie almoit entirely at 
your mercy.. Thefenfible part of mankind, however, 
will comprehend that I mufl have been fo far from 
feeking this affair, that nothing more terrible could 
poflibly have happened to me in my prefent fituation. 
They will perceive that nothing but my invincible 
averfion to all kind of falfehood, and the impoffibilitj 
of my profeiEng a' regard for a perfon who had 
forfeited it, could have prevented diilimulation on 
my part, at a time when my interefts made it, 
on fo many accounts, a law. But the fenfible part 
of mankind are few in number, nor do they make a 
noife in the world. 

*' Yes, Mr. Hume, you have me by all the ties 
of this life ; but you have no power over my probity 
or my fortitude, which being independent either of 
you or of mankind, I will preferve in fpite of you. 
Think, not to frighten me with the fortune that 



awaits me. I know the opinions of mankind. I 
am accuitomed to their injuftice, and have learned 
to care little about it. If you have taken your 
refolution, as I have reafon to believe you have, be 
aifured mine is alfo taken. I am feeble indeed in 
body, but my ftrength of mind wa^ never greater.— 
Mankind may fay and do what they pleafe. It is 
of little confequence to me; but it is of confe- 
quence to me, that I fhould end as I have 
begun ; that I (hould maintain my re£Utude and 
candour to the end, whatever may happen ; and 
that I fhould have no caufe to reproach myfelf either 
with meannefs in adverfity, or mfolence in profpe- 
rity. Whatever difgrace may attend, or misfor- 
tune threaten me, I am prepared. Thoygh I am 
to be pitied, I am much lefs fo than you ; and all 
the revenge I fhall take on you, is, to leave you the 
tormenting confcioulhefs of being obliged, in fpite 
of yourfelf, to refped the unfortunate perfon you 
have oppreifed. 

^^ In concluding this letter, I am furprifed at my 
having been able to write it. If it were pofiible to 
die with grief, every line was fufEcient to kill me. 
Every circumftance of the affair is equally incom- 
prebenflble. Such conduft as yours is not in 
nature: it is contradictory, and yet it is demon- 
Arable. On each fide of me there is an abyfs, and I 
jam loft in one or the other. 

^Mfyou are guilty, I am the moft unfortunate 
of mankind i if you are innocent, I am the moft 



culpelble. You even make me defire to be that con- . 
tempiible objed^. Yes, the fituation to which you 
fee me reduced, proftrate at your feet, crying out . 
for mercy, and doing every thing to obtain itj 
publifhing aloud my own unworthinefs, s^d pacy- 
ing the mod marked homage to your virtues, 
would be to my heart a ftate of joy and genial 
emotion, after the ftate of reAraint and mortification 
into which you have plunged me. 

*• I have but one word more to fay. If you are 
guilty, write to me no more : it would be fuperflnous, 
for certainly you could not deceive me. If you arc 
innocent, deign to juftify yourfclf. I know my 
duty ; I love, and fliall always love it, however 
difficult and fevere. There is no (late of abjeSion . 
from which a heart, not formed for it, may not re- 
cover. Once again, I fay, if you are innocent, deigt^ 
to juftify yourfelf ; if you arc not, adieu for even 

" Jean Jacques Rousseau/* 

After hefitating feme time whether he fliould 
make any reply to this ftrange memorial, Hume at 
laft refolved to write to RouiTcau, as follows : 

Liflc (Ircct, Leiceftfr-fieM*, 
** Sir, July 22, 1766. 

** I fhall only anfwer one article of your long let- 
ter : it is that which regards the converfation we had 
the evening before your departure. Mr. Daven* 
port had contrived a good-natured artifice, to make 

2 yoH 

of DAtrib utiti^ UXk S4> 

yoa b^e«te tlai a mouf thalfe wti i^y te fSet 
out for Wooton ; and I beBetti he caufed an adver* 
tifement be put in the papers^ in order the better 
to deceive fcfU. Wh purpofe only wai to laVe yoa 
fome expences In the journey^ which I thought a 
htidable prqjed ; though I haA ho hand either in 
contriving or condis£tfaig it. You entertained, how* 
ever, a fufpidoti of hU ddfign, while we were fitdng 
aloAe by my fircf-fide ; alfid yoii reproached me with 
comrurriflg in it. 1 endeavoured to pacify you, and 
to divert the difcotlffe ; but td tio purpofd You 
fat fuUen, and was dthet fil£nt, or made me very 
peevifh anfwert. At lafl you rote up, and took a 
turn or two about the room ; when all of a fudden, 
and to my great fdrprife, you clapped yourfelf cm my 
knee, threw youf alms about ihy neck, kifled me 
with feeming ardour, and bedewed my face with 
tears. You exclaimed, ^ My dear friend/ can you 
*^ ever pardon this folly ! After all the pains you 
*^ have taken to ferve me, after the numberlefs in- 
^^ (lances of ftiendfhip you have given me, here 1 

reward you with tlus ill-humour and fuUenneft. 

But -"your foigivenefs of me wiU be a new in- 
^ ftance of your friendfliip ; and Fhope you will 
<^ find at bottom, that my heart is not unworthy 
• of it/* 

^ I was very much affefied, I own; and I 
believe a very tender fcene paflM between us^ 
You added, by way of complimeht no doubt, tha^ 
though I had many better tittes to recommend me 
to poftedty, yet porhaps my uncommon attachment 

R to 



to a poor unhappy and perfecuted man would not 
be akogether overlooked, 

<< This incident was fomewhat remarkable ; and 
it is impoflible that either you or I could fo foon 
have forgot it. But you have bad the afTurance to 
tell me the ftory twice, in a manner fo different, or, 
rather fo oppofite, that when I perfift, as I do, in 
this account, it neceifarily follows that either you are, 
or I am, a liar. Tou imagine, perhaps, that becaufe 
the incident paffed privately without a witnels, the 
queftioii will lie between the credibility of your 
affertion and of mine. But you fliall not have this 
advantage or difadvantage, which ever you are 
pleafed to term it. I {hall produce againft you 
other proo&, which will put the matter beyond codp 

*^ Firft, Tou are not aware^ that I have a 
letter under your hand, which is totally irre- 
concilable with your account, and confirms 
mine *. 

*^ Secondly, I told the (lory the next day, or the 
day after, to Mr. Davenport, with a view of pre- 
venting any fuch good-natured artifices for the fu- 
ture. He furely remembers it. 

* That of the 2 2d of March, which it full of oordidityy and 
proves that M. Roui&au had nevcff to that momeoty encer^ 
tained any of thofe bUck fufpiciona of per6dy which be pub* 
liflies at prefent. There is oalj in that letter a peeTiih paflage 
about the affair of his chaile. Hume. 

« Thirdly, 


" Thirdly, as I thought the (lory much to your 
honour, I told it to fcveral of my friends here. • I 
even wrote an account of it to Mad. de Boufflers at 
Paris. I believe no one will imagine that I was 
preparing before-hand an apology, in cafe of a rup- 
ture with you ; which, of all human events, I 
ihoukl then have thought the mod incredible, efpe- 
cially as we were feparated almoft for ever, and 
1 Hill continued to render you the mod efTential 

" Fourthly, The ftory, as I tell it, is confiftent and 
rational : there is not common fenfe in your ac- 
count. What ! becaufe fomerimes, when abfent in 
thought, (a circumftance common enough with men 
whofe minds are intenfely occupied,) I have a fixed 
look or ftare, you fufpe£t me to be a traitor, and 
you have the aflurance to tell me of fuch black and' 
ridiculous fufpicions ! For you do not even pretend - 
that before you left London you had any other' 
folid grounds of fufplcion againft me. 

^^ I (hall enter into no detail with regard to your 
letter : you yourfeif well know, that all the other ' 
articles of it are without foundation. I fhall only . 
add in general, that I enjoyed about a month ago 
an uncommon pleafure, in thinking that, in fpite of 
many difficukies, I had, by afliduity and care, and 
even beyond my mod fanguine expeftations, pro- 
vided for your, repofe, honour, and fortune. But 
that pleafure was foon embittered, by findings thtt ' 
you had voluntarily and wantonly tbrawh- away*^ 

R2 all 

^44 ^I'2 AV^ WRXTlKOt 

all thofe advantages^ and was become the dedared 
enemy of your own repoTe, fortune, and honoor i 
I cannot be furprified after this that you are mj cae* 
my. Adieu, and for ever. 

« D. H.*^ 

Not content with writing this exculpatory letteff 
Mr. Hume called on Mr. Horace Walpole, to (late 
publicly the concern he had in the aflEur ; and aa 
epiftolary correfpondence took place beoveen thefe 
two gentlemen, which nearly terminated in an open 

Mr. Hume to Mr. Walpole. 


** Dear Sir, 
^^ When I came home laft night, I found on my 
table a very long letter from d'Akmbert, who 
tcUs me, that on receiving from me an account of 
my affair with Rouflfeau, he fummoned a meeting 
of all my literary friends at Paris, and found them 
all unanimoully of the fame opinion with himfelfy 
and of a contrary opinion to me with regard to* 
my condud. They all think I ought to give to 
the public a narrative of the whole. However, I . 
perfift ftill more dofely in my firft opinion, efp(^ 
dally after recdving the laft mad l^etter. D'Alon- 
bert tdls me, that it is of great importance for me, 
to juftify myfelf from having any hand in the letter j. 
from the King of Pruffia. I am told by Crawford, 
that you had wrote it a fortnight before I left Pyuria, 
but did not fhew it to a mortal, for fear of hurting 
me; a delicacy of which I am very fimlible. Pray 

8 rccollea 


recoiled if it was lb. Though I do not intend to 
publifli, I am coUedmg all the original piecett and 
I {hall conneft them by a oondfe narrative. It it 
neceflary for me to have that letter^ and Rouflean'a 
anfwer. Pray, affift me in this work. About what 
time, do you think, were they printed i 

^ I am, &c'* 

To this letter Mr. Walpole fent the following 
anfwer, which Hume inierted in the Expffe he pub* 
lifhed, with the exception of the firft paragrajph, 
and the concluding fentence * ; an omiflion which 
gave much offence to the former gentleman. 

" Dear Sir, Ariington-Street, July 26, 1^66. 

** Tour fet of Hterary friends are what a fet of 
literary men are 4^>t to be, exceedmgly abfurd. 
They bold a confiftory to confult how to argue widi 
a madman ; and thqr think it very neceflary for 
your charafier, to give them the pleafure of fedng 
Roufleau ezpoled } not becauTe he has provoked 
you, bnt them. If Roufleau prints, you muft ; but 
I certainly would not, till he does. 


I cannot be prectfe as to the time of my writmg 
King of Pruflia^s letter ; but I do affure yon 

the utmoft truth, that it was feveral days before 
left Pkris, and before Roufleau's arrival there, 
rhidi I can give you a ftrong proof, for I not 

fup^xtfed the letter while you (laid there, out 

■^ Scs Appcndisi No. III. 

R3 of 


of delicacy to you ; but it was the reafon why, oat 
of delicacy to myfelf , I did not go to fee him, -as yoa 
.often propofed to me, thinking it wrong to go and 
make a cordial vifit to a man, with a letter in : my 
pocket to laugh at him. You are at full liberty, 
dear Sir, to make ufe of what I fay in your juftifi- 
cation, either to Rouflfeau, or to any body elfe. ^ I 
fliould be very forry to have you blamed on my ac- 
count ; I have a hearty contempt of Roufleau, and 
am perfedly indifferent what the literati of Paris 
think of the matter. If there is any fault, which I 
am far from thinking, let it lie on me. No part< 
can hipder my laughing at their pofleflbr, if hek 
a mountebank. If he has a bad and mod ungrate* 
ful heart, as RouflTeau has fhewn m your cafe into 
the bargain, he will have my fcom likewife, ' as he 
will of all good and fenfible men. You may truft 
your fentence to fuch,. who are as refpedable judges 
as any that have pored over ten thoufand more. vo- 
lumes. Yours, &c. 

. ..• 
*^P;S. I will look out the letter and the dates 

as foon as I go to Strawberry-hill." ; 

. AH hopes of accommodating the unfortunate 
difference between Hume and RouflTeau having 
yanifiied, it foon came to the knowledge of ^e 
public, who fell an intered in it, proportioned to 
the celebrity of the perfonages concerned; Bodi 
parties thought it incumbqpt on them to juftify 
themfelves ; and, with this view, RouflTeau wrote let- 
ters to feveral of their common friends, detailing 



all the circumftances of his ftory. With, fomc of 
them, however, he does not feem to have been 
very fuccefsful, as appears from the following re- 
ply to a letter from the MarchioneTs de Verdelin in 
Auguft 1766. 

*' You alk, what are the wrongs of which^ I 

accufe Mr. Hume ? Wrongs ! no. Madam, that is 
not i\ proper term. A proper term exifts not in 
the French language ; and, for the honour of hu« 
man nature, I hope, that it exifts not in any 

" Mn Hume has proniiTed to publifli all the pa^ 
pers relating to this affair. If he keeps his word, 
you ^^ill fee, in the letter I wrote him on the loth 
July, the particulars you require, at leaft enough 
to render more of them fuperfluous. ' You' alfo 
fee his public condud fmce my lad letter : it 
fpeaks, I think, fufEciently clear, to preclude 
the neceffity of my faying any thing more. ■ 
Duty, however, requires of me. Madam, to 
examine what you allege againft me on this fdb- 

jeft. r . nr-. 

" Whether the forged letter of the King of 
Pruflia was the produdion of M. A'AimAietty 
the friend of Mr. Hume,— or of Mr. Walpole, 
the friend of Mr. Hume,— is not the ^poiht 
on which the queftion refts. It is. Whether Mr. 
Hume was the accomplice of ' the author of that 
letter, whoever, he was. You infinuate, that 

R4 Mad. 

w I f • * 

^/bA^ 4tt Daffand had » flare in tlwt letter:- 
Wf^ i but two other plecei fuccelfiTely 
qi th0 £iixie papeiVy and from the iame handy 
ve pot fordy the labourt of a female; and ai 
to Mr. Walpole, all I can fay is, that I muft 
certamly be iMidly acquamted with ftyle» to take the 
^P'ffflch of an f^lilhrnan, for the French of M. 

^* Your objeflioo, drawn from the known cha*^ 
nfier of Mr. Hume^ is very ftrong, and will ever 
furprife me. Nothing left than what I have leen 
of an oppofite charader, was neceflary to pro- 
duce a belief in it. All I can conclude from this 
contradiAion is^ that apparently Mr. Hume has ne- 
ver hated any one but me;—- but what hatred! 
V^t profound art to conceal it^ and to fatiate it ! 
Cu the lame heart fuffice for two fuch paffions ! . 

^* You are told that I have vowed an implacable 
hatred againft Mr. Hume, becauie he wiihed to dif» 
honour mie by forcing me to accept benefits. Do 
you Iwow, Madamy what Lord Marifchal, to 
whom you referred me, would have done, if th^ 
bad told the fiune thing to him ? He would have 
^ifwered^ that it was not true, and would not even 
ha?^ deigned to mention it to me. 

^ All that you add on the honour ^ich a pen** 
fion from the King of £qgland would have 4pi)# 
met is very juft. It is qyUy furprifing that yo|i 
thought you had need of mimtioping tbele things to 


eV DAVID HUMfiy SSQ2, %4§ 

me. To €onviace you» Madam» that I think es« 
adiy as yoa do on the point, I fend you fubjoined a 
copy of a Letter, which I wrote about three months 
ago to General Conway ; in which I felt indeed 
much embarraflmenty as I knew the treafom of Mr« 
Hume, and yet did not wifii to name him. The 
quefUon is not, whether this penfion would have 
been honourable to me, but if I ought to 
have accepted it at any price^--even that of in* 

^^ When you alk, where is the fubjed who would 
dare to folicit his mafter in behalf of a man 
whom he wanted to difgrace ; you do not perceive 
that he employed this folicitation as the principal 
means of acufing me loon afterwards of the black* 
eft ingratitude. If Mr. Hume himfelf had laboured 
publicly to difgrace me, you would bein the right ; 
but it is not neceflary to fuppofe that he executed 
fooli(hly a project fo profoundly meditated.' The 
objection would be good alfO| if, known a long 
time ago to Mr. Hume, I had been unknown to 
the King of England and his court ; but your letter 
even owns the contrary. The whole court of Eng- 
land fays now, TbU poor man / be tbcugbt that all 
the world refembled bimfelf: we have been deceived 
in tbu as well as be, 

^^ In the plan which was formed and fo fully exe- 
cuted, to make a (how of ferving me in public 
with the greateft oftentation, and of de&ming me 
afterwards with the greateft addxefs, it was zieceflary 



to write and fpeak honourably of me. Would 
you have him fpeak ill of a man, for whom he af- 
feded fo much friendfliip ? — ^That would have been 
to contradict himfelf, and play his part very ill. 
He wanted to appear to have been entirely my dupe ; 
he prepared the objedion you make to me to-day. 
You refer me on what you call my wrongs, to Lord 
Marifchal, to judge of them. Lord Marifchal is. 
too wife to believe that he can fee better than 
I what pafles on the fpot where 1 ftand ; and 
when a man buries with redoubled blows a 
poignard in my bread, I am in no need, in order 
to know if he has touched me, to* go and aik 

' *• Let us, I befeech you, fay no more in future on 

this fubjeft. To you,' Madam, I acknowledge all 

my weaknefs. 1/ I did not h?ow that Mr. Hume 

will be xinmajkcd before his dcaih^ I Jhould have a dif* 

ficuhy to believe in Providence.** 

The extenfive correfpondence which Roufleau 
had on the continent, enabled him to circulate 
every where his complaint, and he generally affeded 
the greateft anxiety that all letters to him fhould 
have an envelope addrefled to another, left they 
(hould be kidnapped x>r opened. He wrote to M. 
Guy, a bookfeller at Paris, who was engaged in 
printing his Didlionary of Mufic ; and in this, as in 
all his other letters, he accufed Hume of having 
entered into a league with his enemies to betray 
and defame him^ and challenged him to print the 



papers M^hich had pafTed between them. Guy 
communicated thejetter tofeveral perfons at Paris, 
and a tranflation of it was the newfpapers 
at London. 

The publicity of this accufation .overcame the 
fcruples which Mr. Hume felt in laying the mat- 
ter before the world, as longer filence might be 
conftrued to his difadvantage. In the begins 
niog oi* the rupture, he had deemed it a duty >vhich 
he owed to his friends, to draw up and communi- 
cate to them a narrative of his. connexion with 
RoulTeau ; but he had hitherto refifted their folid- 
tations to print it. This narrative was now tranC> 
lated into French, and publiflied by bis friends . at 
Paris *• It was immediately tranflated into Engltih 
under Hume's own eye, who took the; precaution .to 
depofit all the original lettersin the firitilb Mafeumi 
^ The perfons,'.' lays he, in the conclufion of this nar* 
rative, ^* to whom I have fhown.the original papers 
which authenticate the fads I have related, differed 
very much in their opinion, as well of the ufe I 
ought to make of them, as of M. Roufleau's pre- 
fent fentiments, and the (late of his mind. Some of 
them have maintained, that he is inflncere in his 
quarrel with me, and. his opinion of my guilt; and 
that the whole is to be afcribed to that exceffive pride, 
which forms the bails of his charader, and, which 
leads him to feek the eclat of refufmg the K(ng of 
England's bounty, and at the fame time to fliake off 

* It 18 printed at length in the Appendix* to this work. 
No. III. 



the infupportable burden of an obligadon to me, bf 
erery facrifice of honour, truth, and friendfiqi, at 
vdl as of intereft. They reft thdr fentimentt on the 
abfurdity of that firft fuppofition on which he 
grounds his anger; I mean, that I caofed print 
Mr. Walpoie^s piece of pleafantry, which M. Rouf- 
feau himfelf well knew had beoi circulated ereiy 
where at London as well as at P^. As this pro» 
pofidon is, on the one hand, contrary to commoa 
fenfe, and, on the other, is unfupported by the 
flighteft probability, they conclude that it never had 
any weight even with M. Roufleau himfelf. In thtt 
opinion they are confirmed, by the crowd of fidions 
and lies which M. Roufleau employs to juflify his 
vefentment, lies refpeAing matters as to which it 
wu impoflible for him to be miflaken. They urge 
alfo his a;eal, cheerfiihiers, and gaiety, in oppofitioa 
to tliat profound melancholy with which he pretend- 
ed to be opprefled. It would be fuperfluous to add, 
that the mode of reafoning, which prevaik in all liis 
accufations, is too abfurd to convince any one. 

** Although M. Roufleau may appear to make in 
this matter a confiderable facrifice of his intereft, it 
is to be obferved that money is not always tht 
prime mover of human aSions : there are men en 
whom vanity has a more powerful influence, and 
that is the cafe of this philofopher. An oftentatioutf 
refufal of a penfion from the King of England, an 
cftentation which he has often fought with refpeft 
to other princes, might alone be a fuffident modve 
for his condu£t. 

« Other* 

Of DAVID HUME, XK). flfj 

^* Others of my friends view this affair with more 
iDdQlgenoe, and regard M Rouffiau as an objeft of 
pity^radier than of iadignatioo. They fuppofe that 
pride and ingratifude form the bafis of his chancier ; 
but they are at the fame tune difpofed to believe 
that his reftleb mind, once fet a-ffoat^ is led afide 
by the current of his hnmonrs and paffions. The 
abfurdity of his allegations is not, according to 
them, a proof that he is infincere. He imaginei 
himfelf the only important being in the uniTcrfe, and 
believes that all mankind are in a confpiracy againft 
him. His grcateft benefaftor^ bong the perfon 
who mod hurts his pride, becomes the principal 
objeft of his animofity. It is true, that, in order to 
fupport thefe eccentricities^ he emj^oys fidions and 
lies ; but this is fo common a refource with thofe 
weak heads which fioat continually between reafon 
and folly, that nobody can be furfNrifed at it. 

^* I own that I am inclined to this bitter opinion ; 
though, at the iame time, I doubt much whether, in 
any period of his life, M. Roufleau was ever more 
in his fisnfes, than he is at prefcnt. Even in thofe 
ftrange letters which he has written me on the fub- 
je£k, there are confpicuous traces of his eloquence and 
genius. He has often told me, that he was compofmg 
Memoirs of his Ufe, m which juftice would be done 
to himielf, his friends, aiid his eneuMes ; and as 
fAt. Davenport tells me, diat iince his return to 
Wooton he has been much occupied in writing, I 
have leafiEm to conidude that he is finifliing that 
wo^ JlBthing could be more unexpcQcd by me, 



than to pafs fo fuddenly from the clafs of his 
friends to that of his enemies ; but this tranfitioal* 
being once made, I muft expeft to be treated ac* 
cordingiy. If his Memoirs fhould appear after my 
death, there would be none to juftify my* memory^ 
by being able to tell the truth : if they are publiflied: 
after the death of the author, my juftification would 
thereby lofe great part of its authenticity. This 
refledion has induced me to colled all the drcum- 
flances of the tranfadiou into a narrative, that I 
may fhew it to my friends, and make ufe of it here- 
after as they and I may judge proper. But 1 am fo 
attached to peace, that neceflity only, or the moft' 
cogent reafons, could have determined me to bring 
this difpute before the public.'' 

To this pamphlet a declaration by M. d'Alem- 
bert, dildaiming any (hare in the tranfadion, was 
annexed by the French editors. •* I have," faid 
that Academician, ^' learned from Mr. Hume with 
the greatefi furprife, that M* Rouifeau accufes me* 
of being the author of the ironical letter addrefled 
to him in the public papers, under the name of the 
King of Pruffia. Every body knows, both at 
P^ris and at London, that the letter was written by 
Mr. Walpole, who does not difown it. He acknow- 
ledges only, that he was a little aflifted, with rc^^eSL 
to the ftile, by a perfon whom he does not name, 
but whom perhaps he ought to name. As to 
myfelf, on whom the public fufpicion could never, 
have fallen in this matter, I am not at all ac-: 
quainted with Mr. Walpole : I do not even believe ■■- 

4 I ever 

OF DAVID HUM£, ESQ:, ^ 2^^ 

I ever fpoke to him j having only happened to 
meet once occafionally on a viflt. I have not only 
had not the fmalleft concern, either direftly or 
indirectly, with the letter in queftion, but I can 
mention above a hundred perfons, apaong the friends 
as well as enemies of M. Roufleau, who have heard 
me greatly difapprove of it ; becaufe, as I faid, we 
ought not to ridicule the unfortunate, efpecially 
when they have done us no harm. Befides, 
my refped for the King of Pruffia, and the acknow- 
ledgments I owe him, might, I think, have per* 
fuaded M. RouiTeau, that I would not have taken 
fuch a liberty with the name of that Prince, even 
though in pleafantry. 

^^ I may add, that I never was an enemy to M. 
RouiTeau, either open or fecret, as he pretends ; 
and I defy him to produce the lead evidence of my* 
having ever endeavoured to injure him in any (hape 
whatever. I can prove to the contrary, by the^ 
mod refpedable witnefles, that I have always 
fought to oblige him, whenever it lay in my 

*' As to my pretended fecret correjpandence with 
Mr. Hume, it is very certain that we did not begin' 
to write to each othier, till about five or' fix months 
after his departure,' on occafion of 'the quarrel be- 
tween him and M. Roufleau, and into which tlie 
latter thought proper to' introduce me fo gra^ 


15^ Lfn AMfi WitttlKGS 

Mr. Home, who had gone to Scotland^ ihon|g;hC 
k his duty to appriTe Mn Walpok of the ufe niit 
ofhisletter, aifoUowt: 

'^ Dear Sir, EdiAbnr^ Od. JO, 176& 

** A few poftt ago I had aletter from M. d'AIem* 
bert, by which I leank that he and my other frieftda 
at F^ris had determined to publiih an account of my 
rupture with Roufleau, in confequence of a gene- 
ral difcretiotiary power which I had giten thenu 
The narratiYe they publifli is the fiune with that 
which I left ^th Lord Hertford, and which I believe 
you hafe feoi. It eonfiftt cMefiy of original papers, 
conneded by a ihort radtal of fads. I made a kw 
Alterations, and M. d'Alembert tells me he has 
made a few more, with my permiffion, and at my 
defire. Among the papers pttbhihed is your letter 
to me, juilifying my innocence with regard to the 
King of PruiBa's letter. You permitted me to 
Bnake what ufe of it I pleafed for my own apology, 
and as I knew that you could have no reafon for 
conce^ng it, I inferted it without fcruple in the 
narrative. My P^fian friends are to accompafty 
the whole with a preface, giving an account of my 
reludance to this publication, but of the neceffity 
which they found of extorting my confent* It 
appears particularly, that my antagonift had wroti 
letters of defiance againft me all over Europe^ and 
itid that the letter he wrote me was fo confouikling 
to me, that I would not dare to (hew it to any one 
without falfifying it. Thefe letters were Iftely to 



make impreffion, and my filence might be conftrued 
into a proof of guilt. I am fure, that my friends 
have judged impartially in this affair, and without 
being aftuated by any prejudice or paflion of their 
own ; for almod all of them were at firft as averfe 
as I was to the publication, and only proceeded to 
it upon the apparent neceffity which they difcovered. 
I have not feen the preface ; but the book will pro- 
bably be foon in London, and I hope you will find 
that the reafons affigned by my friends are fatif- 
faftory. They have taken upon them the blame, 
if any appears to lie in this meafure. I am, with 
great truth and fmcerity. Dear Sir, &c.'* 

As foon as a copy of the Expofe reached Mr. 
Hume, he wrote the following letter to Mr. 
Walpole : 

" Dear Sir, Edinburch, 4th No?. 1766. 

" Yefterday I received by the pod a copy of the 
edition, printed at Paris, of my narrative of this ri- 
diculous affair between Roufieau and me. There 
is an introduction in the name of my friends, giving 
an account of the neceffity under which they found 
themfelves to publifli this narrative ; and an appen- 
dix in D'Alembert*s name, protefting his innocence 
with regard to all the imputations thrown on him 
by Rouflfeau. I have no objection with regard to 
the firft, but the fecond contains a claufe which dif- 
pleafes me very much, but which you will probably 
only iaugh at : it is that where he blames the King 

S of 


of Pruffia*s letter as cruel. What could engagf 
D'Alembert to ufe this freedom, I cannot imagine. 
Is it poiCble, that a man of his fuperior parts caa 
bear you ill will becaufe you are the friend of bis 
enemy, Madame du Deffand ? What makes m^ 
fufped, that there may be fomething true of this 
fufpicion is, that feveral pafTages in my narrative, in 
which I mention you and that letter, are all altered 
in the tranflation, and rendered much lefs obliging 
than I wrote them: for my narrative fent to Paris was 
an cxzQt copy of that left in Lord Hertford's hands. 
I would give any thing to prevent a publication in 
London (for furely the whole afiair will appear per- 
feftiy ridiculous) ; but I am afraid that a book 
printed at Paris will be tranflated in I^ondon, if there 
be hopes of felling a hundred copies of it. For this 
reafon, I fancy it will be better for me to take care ' 
that a proper edition be publifhed, in which cafe I 
fhall give orders that all the pafiligcs altered in my 
narrative (hall be reftored." 

Madame du Deffand, mentioned in the preceding 
letter, had been, for the (hort fpace of a fortnight, 
miftrefs of the Regent Due d'Orleans. She was 
now become ftone-blind : yet, notwithftanding this 
misfortune and her extreme old age, fhe retained all 
her former wit and vivacity. Her memory aiid 
judgment were unimpaired, and fhe could jflill con- 
trive to make herfelf agreeable : even thofe paflionSt 
to which fenility is generally reckoned unfriendly, 
had not forfaken the bread of Madame du Deffand* 
She was leen at the play, the opera, and Ver* 



failles ; (he made fongs and epigrams, and gave fup- 
pers twice a week, to which the literati of Paris, and 
among others D'Alembert, reforled ; for it was in 
the company of thefe modem Alpafias, that the 
gens de lettres of the French capital fpent their mo- 
ments of leifure and enjoyment. This lady ufed io 
write very pretty letters to Voltaire, in which (he 
contradifted him without ceremony, for, as (lie was 
no bigot to any creed, flie laughed both at the clergy 
and the philofophers. 

A young lady who refidcd with Madame du 
Deffand, left her in confequence of fome difference 
between them, and fct up for herfclf. D*A!emberti 
who had been a frequent vlfitor at Madame's, now 
ablcnted himfelf from her parties, and paid court 
to the young one ; Walpole, it feems, kept by the 
old lady, from gratitude or generofity : hence 
the allufion to the poffibility of D*Alembert being 
influenced by pique towards Walpole ; an allufion 
for which Mr. Hume appears to have had very Iktk 

Mr. Walpole, on receiving Mr. Hume's letter 
of the 30th OSu immediately fent him the follow- 
ing anfwer : 

" Dear Sir, Not. 6, 1766. 

** You have, I own, furprifed me by fu8Fering your 
quarrel with Rouflfeau to be printed, toiitrary to- 
your determination when you left London, and 

S 2 againft 


againfl the advice of all your befl friends liere ; I 
may add, contrary to your own nature, which has 
always inclined you to defpife literary fquabbles, the 
jeft and fcom of all men of fenfe. Indeed I am forry 
you have let yourfelf be over-pcrfuaded, and fo are 
all that I have feen who wi(h you well ; I ought 
rather to ufe your own word extorted. You fay 
your Parifian friends extorted your confent to tliis 
publication. I believe fo. \ our good fenfe could 
not approve what your good heart could not refufe. 
You add, that they told you Rouffeati hadfent letters 
of defiance agawji you all over Europe* Good God ! 
n'.y dear Sir, could you pay any regard to fuch 
fuftian ? All Europe laughs at being dragged every 
day into thefe idle quarrels, with which Europe 
only wipes its b — ^f— e. Your friends talk as loftily 
as of a challenge between Charles V. and Francis L 
What are become of all the controverfies fincc 
the days of Scaliger and Scioppius of Billingfgate 
memory ? Why, they fleep in oblivion, till fomc 
Bayle drags them out of their duft, and talges 
mighty psuns to afcertain the date of each author^s 
death, which is of no more confequence to the 
world than the day of his birth. Many a country 
fquire quarrels with his neighbour about game! 
and manors, yet they never print their wrangles, 
though as much abufe pafTes between them, as 
if they could quote all the Phillippics of the 

<^ You have aded as I fhould have expe£led, if 
you ^^WJ print, with fenfe, temper, aad decency, 



and, what is ftill more uncommon, with your ufual 
modefty. I cannot fay fo much for your editors. 
But editors and commentators are feldom modeft. 
Even to this day that race ape the didatorial tone of 
the commentators at the reftoration of learning, 
when the mob thought that Greek and Latin could 
give men the fenfe which they wanted in their native 
languages. But Europe is now grown a little wifer, 
and holds thefe magnificent pretentions in proper 

** What I have faid is to explain why I am forry 
my letter makes a part of this controverfy. When 
I fent it to you, it was for your juftification, and, 
had it been neceflary, I could have added much 
more, having been witnefs to your anxious and 
boundlcfs friendfhip for Roufleau. I told you, you 
might make what ufe of it you pleafed. Indeed at 
that time I did not, could not think of its being 
printed, you feeming fo averfe to any publication on 
that head. However, I by no means take it ill, 
nor regret my part, if it tends to vindicate your 

^^ I mud confels that I am more concerned, that 
you have fuffered my letter to be curtailed; nor 
ihould I have confented to that if you had afked 
me. .1 guefled that your friends confulted your 
intereft lefs than their own inclination to expofe 
Roufleau ; and I think their omiflion of what 1 faid 
on that fubjed, proves that I was not miflaken in 
my guefs. My letter hinted too my contempt of 

S 3 learned 


learned men and their miferable conduft. Since I 
was to appear in print, I fhould not have been forry 
that that opinion fhould have appeared at the lame 
time. In truth, there is nothing I hold fo cheap as 
ihe generality of learned men ; and I have often 
thought, that young men ought to be made fcholars, 
left they fhould grow to reverence learned block* 
heads, and think there is any merit in having read 
n^ore foolifh books than other folks, which<» as 
there are a thoufand nonfenfical books for one good 
one, muft be the cafe of any man who has read 
much more than other people. 

" Your friend D*Alembert, who, I fuppofe, has 
read a vaft deal, is, it feems, offended with my letter 
to Rouffeau. He is certainly as much at liberty to 
blame it, as I was to write it. Unfortunately be does 
not convince me ; nor can I think but that if Rouf* 
feau may attack all governments and all religions, I 
might attack him : cfpecially on his affefhition and 
affeftcd misfortunes, which you and your editors have 
proved are affe^ed. D* Alembert might be offended 
atRouffcau^s afcribing my letter to him ; and he is i» 
the right. I am a very indifferent author, and there 
is nothing fo vexatious to an indifferent author as 
to be confounded with another of the fame cla&« 
1 (hould be forry to have his eloges and tranfkttions 
of fcraps of Tacitus laid to me. However, I caa 
forgive him any thing, provided he never tranflatca 
me. Adieu ! my dear Sir ; I am apt to laugh, yea 
know ; and therefore you will excufc me, though I 
do not (reat your friends up to the pomp of theif 



claims. They may treat me as freely : I fhall not 
laugh the lefs, and I promife you I will never enter 
into a controverfy with them. 

" Yours moft fincerely." 

Mr. Walpole, to Mr. Hume, in anfwer to his 

letter of the 4th November. 

••Arlington Street, Not. 11, 1766. 

^' Indeed, dear Sir, it was not neceiTary to make 
me any apology. D*Alembert is certainly at liberty 
to fay what he pleafes of my letter ; and undoubt« 
ediy you cannot think that it fignifies a draw to 
me what he fays. But how can you be furpiifed 
at his printing a thing that he fent you fo long ago ? 
All my furprife conlids in your fuffering him to 
curtail my letter to you ; when you might be furc 
he would print his own at length. I am glad^ 
however, that he has mangled mine ; it not only 
fliows his equity, but is the ftrongeft prefilmptioti 
that he was confcious I guelTed right, when I fup* 
pofe he urged you to publifti, from his own private 
pique to RoufTeau. 

** What you furmife of his cenfuring my letter 
becaufe I am a friend of Madame dii Deflfand, it 
aftonifliing, indeed, and not to be credited, unlefs 
you had fuggefled it. Having never thought him 
any thing like a fuperior genius as yoii term hinl, I 
coAcludefl his vanity was hurt by RoUfleau's af* 
cribing my letter to him ; but to carry refentment 

S 4 to 


to a woman, to an old and blind woman, fo far, 29 
to hate a friend of her's, qui ne lui avdt point fait 
de maly is ftrangely weak and lamentable. I thought 
he was a philofopher, and that philofophers were 
virtuous, upright men, who loved wifdom, and 
were above the little paflions and foibles of huma- 
nity. I thought they aiTumcd that proud title as 
an earned to the world, that they intended to be 
fomething more than mortal \ that they engaged 
thcmfclves to be patterns of excellence, and would 
utter no opinion,' would pronounce no decUion, 
but what they believed the quinteffence of truth ; 
that they always a£ted without prejudice and re- 
fpe£fc of perfons. Indeed we know that the ancienjt 
philofophers were a ridiculous compofition of arro- 
gance, difputation, and contradictions : that fome of 
them a£ted againft all ideas of decency ; that others 
aSeded to doubt of their o^x n fenfes ; that fome, 
for venting unintelligible nonfenfe, pretended to 
think themfelves fuperior to kings ; that they gave 
themfelves airs of accounting for all that we do 
and do not fee; — and yet that no two of them 
agreed m a fingle hypothefis ; that one thought 
fire, another water, the origin of all things ; and 
that fome were even fo abfurd and impious, as to 
difplace God, and enthrone matter in his place. I 
do not mean to difparage fuch wife men, for we 
are really obliged to them : they anticipated and 
helped us off with an exceeding deal of nonfenfe, 
through which we might poflibly have paili^d if they. 
had not prevented us. But when, in this enlight- 


cncd age, as it is called, I faw the term pbilof^phcrs 
revived, I concluded the jargon would be omitted, 
and that we fhould be blefled with only the cream 
of fapience ; and one had more reafon (till to ex« 
peft this from any fuperlor genius. But, alas ! my 
dear Sir, what a tumble is here ! Your D'Alembert 
IS a mere mortal oracle. Who but would have 
lau;rhed, if, when the buffoon Aridophanes ridi* 
culed Socrates, Plato had condemned the former, 
not for making fport with a great man in diftrefs, 
but becaufe Plato hated fome blind old woman 
with whom Ariftophanes was acquainted ! 

*^ D'Alembert's condufl is the more unjuft, as I 
never heard Madame du Deffand talk of him above 
three times in the feven months that I paffed at 
Paris, and never, though (he does not love him, 
with any refleftion to his prejudice. I remember, 
the fird time I ever heard her mention his name, I 
faid I had been told he was a good mimic, but 
could not think him a good writer. Crawford re- 
members this, and it is a proof that I always 
thought of D* Alembert as I do now. She took it 
up with warmth, defended his parts, and faid he 
was extremely amuHng. For her quarrel with him, 
I never troubled my head about it one way or other, 
which you will not wonder at. You know in 
England we read their works, but feidom or never 
take any notice of authors. We think them fuffi* 
ciently paid if their books fell, and of courfe leave 
them to their colleges and obfcurity, by which means 



we are not troubled by their vanity and impertinence* 
In France they fpoil us ; but that was no bufinefs of 
mine. I who am an author mud own this conduft 
very fenfible ; for in truth we are a mod ufeiels tribe. 

** That D* Alembert fliould have omitted paffages 
in which you was fo good as to mention me with 
approbation, agrees with his peevifhnefs, not with 
his philofophy. However, for God's fake, do not 
reinflate the paifages. I do not love compliments, 
and will never give my confent to receive any. I 
have no doubt of your kind intentions to me, but 
beg they may reft there. I am much more diverted 
with the philofopher D*Alembert*s underhand deal- 
ings, than I (hould have been pleafed with pane* 
gyric even from you. 

** Allow me to make one more remark, and I 
have done with this trifling bufinefs for ever. 
Your moral friend pronounces me ill-natured for 
laughing at an unhappy man who had never offend- 
ed me. RouiTeau certainly never did offend me. I 
believed from many fymptoms in his writings, and 
what I had heard of him, that his love of Angularity 
made him chufe to invite misfortunes, and that 
he hung out many more than he felt. I who a& 
fefl: no philofophy, nor pretend to more virtue than 
my neighbours, thought this ridiculous in a man 
who is really a fuperior genius^ and joked upon it 
in a few lines never certainly intended to appear in 
print. The fage D* Alembert reprehends this, — and 

3 where? 

or DAVID HUMS, $8Q. 267 

where ? In a book publiflied to expofe Rouffeau, 
stnd which confirms, by ferious proofs, what I had 
hinted at in jeft. What ! does a philofopher con* 
demn me, and, in the very fame breath, only with 
ten times more ill nature, aft exaftly as I had done ? 
Oh ! but you will fay, Rouffeau has offended 
D'Alembert by afcribing the King of Pruflia's letter 
to him. Worfe and worfe: if Roufieau is un- 
happy, a philcifopher (hould have pardoned. Re- 
venge is fo unbecoming the rex return, the man 
who is precipue fanus-^^ntfi cum pituHa molejia eft* 
If Rouffeau's misfortunes are affefted, what be- 
comes of my ill nature ? — In (hort, my dear Sir, to 
conclude as D'Alembert concludes his book, I do 
believe in the virtue of Mr. Hume, but not much in 
that of philofophers. Adieu ! 

** Yours ever." 

•* P, S. It occurs to me that you may be ap- 
prehenfive of my being indifcreet enough to let 
D'Akmbert learn your fufpicions erf" him on Ma- 
dame du Deffand*s account ; but you may be per* 
feftly eafy on that head. Though I like fuch an 
advantage over him, and (hould be glad he favr 
this letter, and knew how little formidable I think 
him, I (hall certainly not make an itt nfe of a pri- 
vate letter, and had much rather wav%0iiy triiin^, 
than give a friend a moment's paifK I love t6 
laugh at an impertinent fgavant^ but refpeft learn- 
ing, w*hen joined to fuch goodnefi as yours, and 
never confound oftentation and modeftyr 

** I wrote 


" I wrote to you lafl Thurfday ; and by Lady 
Hertford's advice, direfted my letter to Ninewells : 
I hope you will receive it.'* 

Mr. Hume to Mr, Walpoli. 

•• Edinburgh, Nov. ao, lj66. 

** I readily agree with you, my dear Sir, that it 
is a great misfortune to be reduced to the ncceffity 
of confenting to this publication : but it had cer- 
tainly become neceffary. Even thofe who at firft 
joined me in rejecting all idea of it, wrote to me, 
and reprefented, that this ftrange man's defiances 
had made fuch imprefTion, that I (hould pafs unL- 
verfally for the guilty perfon, if I fupprefled the 
flory. Some of his greateft admirers and partifans 
who had read my manufcript, concurred in the 
fame fentiments with the reft. I never confented 
to any thing with greater reluftance in my life. 
Had I found one man of my opinion, 1 fhould bare 
perfevered in my refufal. One reafon of my reluc* 
tance was, that I faw this publication, if neceflarj 
at Paris, was yet fuperfluous, not to fay worfe, at 
London. But I hope it will be confidered that the 
publication is not, properly fpeaking, my deed, but 
that of my friends, in confequence of a difcretion* 
ary power which I gave them, and which it was na* 
tnral for me^to give them, as 1 was at too great a 
difbnce to form a judgment in the cafe. 

*' I am as fenfible as you are of the ridicule to 
which men of letters have expofed themfelveSy 
by running every moment to the public with all 



their private fquabbles and altercations ; but furely 
there has been fomething very unexpeded and pe- 
culiar in this aiTain My antagonift, by his genius, 
his fingularities, his quackery, his misfortunes, and 
his adventures, had become more the fubje£t of ge- 
neral converfatioii in Europe (for I venture agaia 
on the word) than any perfon in it. I do not 
even except Voltaire, much lefs the King of Pruffia 
and Mr. Pitt. How elfe could it have happened, 
that a claufe of a private letter, which I wrote fome- 
what thoughtlefsly to a private gentleman at Paris, 
ihould in three days time have been the only fub- 
je£t of converfation in that capital, and ihould 
thence have propagated itfelf every where as faft 
as the po(t could carry it ? You know, that at (ird 
I was fo little inclhied to make a noife about this 
(tory, that I had entertained thoughts of giving 
no reply at all to the infult, which was really fo 
ridiculous ; but you very properly difluaded me 
from this refolution ; and by your advice I wrote 
that letter, which certainly no body will find fault 

** Having made this apology for myfelf (where, 
however, I exped to be abfolved as much by your 
compafTion as your judgment), I proceed to fay 
fomething in favour of my friends. Allow me then 
to inform you, that it was not D'Alembert who fup- 
prelTed that claufe of your letter, but me, who did 
not tranfcribe it in the copy I fent to Paris. I 
was afraid of engaging you needlefsly in a quarrel 
with tjicfe literati} and as that claufe had no 


ay^ LIFE AND wRirmos 

reference to thebufinefs in hand, I thought I might 
fairly fecrete it. I wifli I could excufe him as well 
on another head. He fent me above two months ago 
fomething like that declaration, and defired me to 
convey it to Rouflfeau ; \^hich I refufed to do, and 
gave him fome reafons of my refufal : but he replied 
to me, that he was fure my true fecret reafon was 
my regard to you. He ought thence to have known^ 
that it would be difagreeable to me to fee fuch a 
piece annexed to mine. I have remarked alfo the 
omiflion of a phrafe in the tranflation ; and this 
omiflion could not be altogether by accident : it 
was where I mention your fuppreffing the King of 
Pruffia's letter, while we lived together at Paris. I 
faid it was agreeable to your vfual politenefs and hu- 
manity. I have wrote to Becket the bookfeller to 
reftore this paffage, which is fo conformable to my 
real fentiments ; but whether my orders have come 
in time, I do not know as yet. Before I few the 
Paris edition I had defired Becket to follow it where- 
ever it departed from my original. The difference, 
I find, was in other refpefts but inconfiderable. 

** It is only by conjefture I imagine, that D' Alcm- 
bert's malevolence to you (if he has any malevolence) 
proceeds from your friendfliip with Madame du 
DefFand ; becaufe I can find no other ground for it. 
I fee alfo, that in his declaration there is a (Iroke ' 
obliquely levelled at her, which perhaps you do not 
underftand, but 1 do ; becaufe he wrote me that he 
heard (he was your correftor. I found thefe two 
perfons in great and intimate friend(hip when I 



arrived at Paris ; but it is ftrange how intemperate 
they are both become in their animofity : though 
perhaps it is more excufable in her, on account of 
her age, fex, and bodily infirmities. -I am very 
fenfible of your difcretion in not citing me on this 
occafion ; 1 might otherwii'e have a new quarrel on 
my hands. 

" With regard to D'Alembert, I believe I faid he 
was a man of fupcrior parts, not a fuperior genius ; 
which are words, if I niiftake not, of a very differ- 
ent import. He is furely entitled to the former cha- 
racter, from the works which you and I have read : 
I do not mean his tran'flation of Tacitus, but his 
other pieces. But I believe he is more entitled to it 
from the works which 1 fuppofe neither you nor I 
have read, his geometry and algebra. I agree with 
you, that in fome refpccts Rouffeau may more pro- 
perly be called a fuperior genius ; yet is he fo full of 
extravagance, that I am inclined to deny even him 
that appellation. I fancy D*Alembert's talents^ 
and Rouffeau's united might fully merit fuch % 

** In other refpefts, D'Alembert is a very agree-% 
able companion, and of irre])roachabIe morals. By, 
refufuig great offers from the Czarina and the King 
of PruiHa, he has (liown himfelf above intereft and 
vain ambition. He lives in an agreeable retreat at 
Paris, fuitable to a man of letters. He has five 
penfions : one from the King of Prufllay one from 


tyZ Lift ANB wRitmos 

the French King, one as member of the academy of 
fciences, one as member of the French academy^ 
and one from his own family. The whole amount 
of thefe is not 6,000 livres a-year ; on the half of 
which he lives decently, and gives the other half to 
poor people with whom he is conneded. In a word, 
1 fcarce know a man, who with fome few exceptions 
(for there muft always be fome exceptions) is a 
better model of a virtuous and fhilofupbical chap 

" You feel venture dill to join ihefe two epithets 
as infeparable and almoft fynonymous, though you 
feem inclined to regard them almofl: as incompatible. 
And here 1 have a ftrong inclination to fay a few 
words in vindication both of myfelf and of my 
friends, venturing even to comprehend you in the 
number. What new prepofleflion has feized you to 
beat in fo outrageouj a manner your nurfes of 
Mount Helicon, and to join the outcry of the igno- 
rant multitude againft fcience and literature ? For 
my part, I can fcarce acknowledge any other ground 
of diflindion between one age and another, between 
one nation and another, than their different pro- 
grefs in learning and the arts. I do not fay between 
one man and another, becaufe the qualities of the 
heart and temper and natural underftanding are the 
mod effential to the perfonal charader ; but being, 
I fuppofe, almoft equal among nations and ages, do 
not ferve to throw a peculiar luftre on any. You 
blame France for its fond admiration of men oE 


genius ; tmd tbere may no donbt be, in particular 
inftances, a great ridicule in thefe afieOations ; but 
die fendment in general tras equally confpicuous 
in ancient Greece, in Rome during its flourifhing 
period, in modem Italy, and even perhaps in Eng- 
land id>out the beginning of this century. If the 
cafe be now otherwiibi it is what we are to lament 
and be aihamed of. Our enemies will only infer, 
that we are a nation which was once at beft but half 
civilized, and is now relapflng fad into barbarifm, 
ignorance, and fuperftition. I beg you alfo to con^ 
itder the great difference in point of morals between 
uncultivated and civilized ages. But I find I am 
launching out infenfibly into an immenfe ocean of 
common place; I cut the matter therefore fliort^ 
by declaring it as my opinion, that if you had been 
bom a barbarian, and had every day cooked your 
dinner of horfeflefh by riding on it fifty Iniles 
between your breech and the fhoulder of yout 
horfe, you had certainly been an obliging, 
good natm^ed, friendly man; but at the fame 
time that reading, converfation, and travel have 
detracted nothing from thofe virtues, and have 
made a confiderable addidon of other valuable and 
agreeable qualities to thenu I remain, not with 
ancient fincerity, which was only roguery and 

hypocrify, but very fincerely, dear Sir, &c« 


«^ P. S. The French tranfladon of this ftrange 
piece of mine (for I muft certainly give it that 
epithet) was not made by D^iUembert, but by one 
under his dirt&ion/* 

T Mr. 

2f4 ^IFS ^^^ WaiTINOS 

Mr. Walpole thought proper to draw up a nar* 
rative of the concern he had in the quarrel between 
Rouflfeau and Hume; and annexed to it the whole of 
his correfpondence with our author. It is dated at 
Paris, Sept. 13,1 767 ; and fpeaking in it of the Ex* 
poft'y he has the following paflage, which could not 
fail to give offence to Huihe, and which we fubmit 
to the reader's judgment without any comment. ^' I 
am forry to fay," obferves Mr. Walpole, ** that on 
this occafion Mr. Hume did not ad quite fairly by 
me. In the beginning of my letter I laughed at his 
learned friends, who wiihed him to publifli, which, 
as I told him, was only to gratify their own fpleea 
to Rouflfeau. I had no fpleen to him. I had laughed 
at his affedation, but had tried to ferve him ; and 
above all things 1 defpifed the childifh quarrels of 
pedants and pretended philofophers. This com- 
mencement of my letter was, therefore, a diffiiafiTe 
againft printing. Could I imagine that Mr. Hume 
would make ufe of part of my letter, and fufier it 
to be printed — and even without afking my confent ? 
I had told him he might do what he pleafed with 
it : but when he had defired it only to fhew, and 
when it advifed him not to publifh, could my words 
imply a permiflion to print my letter ? Much lels 
could they imply permiflion to curtail my letter, 
and give it to the public as if I approved his print- 
ing. And I repeat it again, was he at liberty 10 do 
this without afking and obtaining my confent ? It is 
very true, I heartily defpifed Roufleau's ingratitude 
to Mr. Hume ; but had I thought my letter would 
have b^en publiflied, I fhould not have expreflied 



my feeling m fuch harfh terms as a iherougb con- 
tempt^^^ lead I ihould have particularized the caufe 
of that contempt, becaufe the fuperioiity and ex- 
cellence of Roufleau's genius ought not to be con- 
founded with his defe£bs. Nor ihould I have treat- 
ed him with the fame indifference as I (hould treat 
the prefent gens de lettres at Paris, the mufliroom^ 
of the moment. But Mr. Hume was penetrated 
with refpeft for them, and not to wound their vain 
and fenfitive ears, fuppreffed the commencement of 
my letter, and in that mangled form fuffered them 
to publifh it. When it was publifhed he made an 
apology to me.'' 

The literary world, as it may be fuppofed, took part 
in this difpute between two charaflers fo celebrated 
as Hume and Rouffeau ; and although the condiift 
of the latter was univerfally condemned, a few took 
up the pen in his defence. In November 1766^ 
there was publiihed at Paris a pamphlet under the 
title of Obfervations fur r Expoje fuccind de la Contef 
tation qui s^ejl Hevee entre M. Hume et M. Roujfeuu ; 
and in the fame year was publifhed at London, 
and tranflated into French, Jujiification de J. J^ 
Roujfeau dans la Contejiation qui lui ejlfurvenue avec 
M. Hume •• There alfo appeared at London ^ 
Letter to the Hon. Horace Walpole concerning the Dif 
pute between Mr. Hume and M. Roujfeau. The 
Parifian prels gave to the public Reflections fur qui 
s^eji pajfe au Siifet de la Rupture de J. J. Roujfeau 
et de Mk Hume / and alfo a very long trad entitled 
Plaidoyer pour et dwtre J. J. Roujfeau et le Doileur 

• I. have fccn- the French copy only- 

T 2 D. Hume^ 


/}. Humcy PHi/iorien Anglois : avec des Ante^tti 
interejfantes relative au fujet : ouvrage moral et cri» 
tique^ pour feruir de fuite aux auvres de ces deux 
grands hommes. In die firft part of this work, the 
author is exceedingly fevere againft Hume, but he 
afterwards foftens a liuie as to him, and attacks 
RouiTeau at great length. It is written in a fpright- 
ly flyle, and is rather interefling. He appears, 
however, to be totally unacquainted with Hum^s 
charader, and confeffes and laments his ignorance 
of our hidorian's works : the word Dodeur^ pre- 
fixed to Hume's name in the title, is a faint evi- 
dence of this. He is inclined, on the whole, to 
afcribe Rouffeau's condu£t a un dcrcglement de Jm 
^fprit^'-^et no7i pas a la pervcrfiic defon cosur. 

Even the fair fex flood forward in defence of 
their favourite man of feeling ; and a lady at P^s 
fignalized herfelf in a pamphlet, which was rewarded 
with the thanks of Rouffeau : it was entitled La 
Veriu vengee par rAmiiie^ on Rccucil de Leiires fur 
y. y. Roujfeau^ par Madame *•*. Voltaire, on the 
other fide, addrefled a Letter to Mr. Hume, in which 
he afiailed the unfortunate Gcnevefe with all the 
acutenefs of his fatire, and the brilliancy of his wit. 

While occupied in compofing an elaborate review 
of this controvcrfy, and gravely weighing the con- 
duct of both parties, we accidentally met with the 
following jeu d^efprit in the St. James's Chronicle, 
the newfpaper in which the tranflation of the cele- 
brated letter of the King of Pruflia firft appeared. 
Before inferting it, however, we may premife, that 



it does riot fcero poffible for any unprejudiced per* 
fon to fuppofe that Mr. Hume could entertain the 
ilighteft malevoknce towards his prtaSge^ or that the 
concern Be took in his behalf origiriated from any 
other motive than the mod generous philanthropy. 
We may bewail the eccentricity of mind which 
could conjm-e up fufpicions like thoTe entertained 
by Rouffeau, and give confequence to empty trifles ^ 
but juftice and honour call on us to condemn the 
man who could convert thefe into premeditated 
crimes, and found on them injurious accufations 
againfl: innocence,— ^nay more, againft the very per* 
foa who had loaded him with benefits. It muft be 
owned, that fymptoms of a crazy intelle£t were at 
dmes perceptible in the cbnduft of Rouflfeau : his 
caprices, hia brutal rudenefs, his eternal wrangling 
with alt who came in contaA with him as fnenda 
and bene&dors, were forcible indications of a fpe- 
cies of mental dezangemenL We may, therefore^ 
relax a little from the auflere laws of critidfm, and 
indulge in a harmlefs jocularity, now, perhaps, the 
beft medium through which this fingular difpute 
can be contemplated. 

The humorous produftion alluded to is in the 
form of an indi&ment, as follows : 

fhilofopherj againjt D. Hume^ Efq. 

I. That the laid David Hume, to the great 
fcandal of philofbph^, and not having the fitneis of 

T 3 things 


things before his eyes, did concert a plan vitfi 
Meif. Fronchin, Voltaire, and D'Alembert, to nun 
the faid J. J. Rouflfeau for ever, by bringing hiiii 
over to England, and there fettling him to his heart's 


2. That the faid David Hume did, with a ma& 
cious and traitorous intent, procure, or caufe to be 
procured, by himfelf, or fomebody elfe, one penfion 
of the yearly value of 1 00 /. or thereabouts, to be 
paid to the faid J. J. Roufleau, on account of his 
being a philofppher, either privately or publicly^ as 
to him the faid J. J. Rpuifeau ihould feem meeL 

3. That the faid David Hume did, one night 
after he left Paris, put the faid J. J. Roufleau in- 
bodily fear, by talking in his ileep ; although die 
faid J. J. Roufleau doth not know, whether the 
faid David Hume was really alleep, or whether he 
fhammed Abraham, or what he meant. 

4. That, at another time, as the faid David 
Hume and the faid J. J. Rouireau were fitting oppo- 
fite each other by the fire-fide in London, he, the 
faid David Hume, did look at him, the fsdd J. J. 
Rouffeau, in a manner of which it is difficult to give 
any idea ; That he, the faid J. J. Rouffeau, to get rid 
of the embarraffment he was under, endeavoured to 
look full at him, the faid David Hume, in return, 
to try if he could not flare him out of countenance ; 
but in fixing his eyes againft his, the faid David 
Hume's, he fc^lt the moft inezprcffible terror, and 



was obliged to turn them a^ay, infomuch that the 
faid J. J. RouiTeau doth in his heart think and 
believe, as much as he believes any thing, that he 
the faid David Hume is a certain compofition of a 
white-witch and a rattle-fnake. 

5. That the faid David Hume on the fame even- 
ing, after politely returning the embraces of him, the 
faid J. J. Rouflfeau, and gently tapping him on the 
back, did repeat feveral times, in a good-natured 
eafy tone, the words, Wby^ wbat^ my dear Sir ! Nay^ 
my dear Sir! Ob my dear S/r/— From whence the 
faid J. J, Rouflfeau doth conclude, as he thinks 
upon folid and fufEcient grounds, that he the faid 
David Hume is a traitor ; albeit he, the faid J. J. 
Rouflfeau, doth acknowledge, that the phyfiognomy 
of the good David is that of an honed man, all 
but thofe terrible eyes of his, which he muft have 
borrowed ; but he the laid J. J. Rouflfeau vows to 
God he cannot conceive from whom or what. 

6. That the faid David Hume hath more inqui- 
fitivenefs about him than becometh a philofopher, 
and did never let flip an opportunity of being alone 
with the govemante of him the faid J. J. Rouf- 

7* That the faid David Hume did mofl: atro- 
cioufly and flagitioufly put him the faid J. J. 
Rouflfeau, philofopher, into a paffion ; as knowing 
that then he would be guilty of a number of ab- 

T 4 8. That 


8. That the faid David Hume muft have pab« 
iiihed Mr. Walpole's letter in the nevfpapers, b&» 
caufe, at that time, there was neither man» womaiiy 
nor child, in the ifland of Great Britain, but thq 
faid David Hume, the laid J. J. Roufleau, and tke 
printers of the feveral newfpapers aforefaid. 

9. That fomebody in a certain magazine^ and 
ibmebody elfe in a certain newfpaper, faid fpme- 
tfaing againft him the faid John James Roufleau* 
which he, the faid J. J. Roufleau, is perfuaded, for 
the reafon above-mentioned, cou)d be nobody but 
the faid David Hume. 

1 9. That the £ud J. J. Rou&au knows* that he* 
the faid David Hume, did open and peruiie the 
letters of him the laid J. J. Roufleau, becaufe he 
one day faw the faid David Hume go out of the 
room, after his own fervant, who had, at that time* 
a letter of the £ud J. J. Roufleau's in his hands i 
—which muji have been in order to take it from 
the fervant, open it, and read the contents. 

1 1 • That the faid David Hume cHd, at the xnfU- 
gation of the Devil, in a mod wicked and unnatu- 
ral manner, fend, or caufe to be fent, to the lodgings 
of him, the faid J. J. Roufleau, one difli of beef- 
fteaks, thereby meaning to infinuate, that he, the 
faid J. J. Roufleau, was a beggar, and came over to 
England to aflc alms : whereas be it known to alt 
men by thefe prefents, that he, the £ud John James 
Roufleau, brought with him the means of fiibfi&- 



ence, and did not come with an empty purfe ; as 
he doubts not but he can live upon his labours,— 
with the affiftance of his friends ; and in fliort can 
do better without the faid David Hume than with 

1 a. That befides all thefe fads put together, the 
faid J. J. Roufleau did not like a certain appearance 
of things on the whole. 

In the fummer of 1766, Mr. Hume went to Edin- 
burgh with an intention of fpending his days there 
in philofophical retirement. He himfelf tells us, 
that he returned to that place, not richer, but with 
much more money, and a much larger income, by 
means of Lord Hertford's friendfhip, than he had 
left it : and that he was now delirous of trying what 
fuperfiuity could produce, as he had formerly made 
an experiment of a competency. Of this fcheme, 
however, he was not long permitted to make triaL 
General Henry Seymour Conway, the brother of 
Lord Hertford, had been made one of the Secretaries 
of State, in 1765, in place of Lord Sandwich, with 
Mr. Burke as his under Secretary : but in Feb. 
1767, Mr. Burke refigned, and the General invited 
Mr. Hume to fucceed him. Our author according- 
ly repaired to London, and entered on his high 
office. Whether he poffeffed talents eminently 
adapted to this (ituation, it would now be fuper- 
fluous to inquire ; certain it is that the ftate papers 
of thofe times evince no extraordinary marks of 
fplendid abilities. On the 20th January 1 768, the 

I General 


General retired, and was fucceeded by Vifcoimt 
Weymouth; and Mr. Hume followed his ex* 

Notwithftanding the interruption, which politics 
neceflarily occafioned to his literary purfuits, Mr. 
Hume continued to correfpond with his old friends 
as ufual, and to employ in their behalf what 
influence he poiTefTed. Some of thefe letters have 
been preferved. 

Mr. Hume to Dr. Robertson. 


My dear Sir, London, March 19, 1767. 

You do extremely right in applying to me 
wherever it is the leaft likely I can ferve you or any of 
your friends. I confulted immediately with General 
Conway, who told me, as I fufpe£te49 ^1^^ the 
chaplains to forts and garrifons were appointed by 
the war-office, and did not belong to his deparu 
ment. Unhappily I have but a flight acquaintance 
with Lord Barrington, and cannot venture to afk 
him any favour ; but I fliall call on Pryce Camp- 
bell, though not of my acquaintance, and fhall 
enquire of him the canals through which this 
affair may be conduced : perhaps it may lie 
in my power to facilitate it by fome means or 

<^ I fliall endeavour to find out the unhappy 
philofopher you mention, though it will be difficult 
for me to do him any fervice. He is an ingenious 



man, but unfortunate in his conduS:, particularly 
in the early part of his life. The world is fo cruel as 
never to overlook thofe flaws; and nothing but 
hypocrify can fiiUy cover them from obfervatiom 
There is not fo effectual a fcourer of reputations in 
the world. I wifh that I had never parted with that 
Lixivium^ in cafe I (hould at any fiiture time have 
occafion for it. 


* ^ A few days before my arrival in London, 
Mr. Davenport had carried to Mr. Conway a letter 
of Roufleau's, in which that philofopher fays, that 
he had never meant to refufe the King's bounty, 
that he would be proud of accepting it, but that he 
would owe it entirely to his majefty's generofity and 
that of his minlfters, and woi^dd refufe it if it came 
through any other canal whatfoever, even that of 
Mr. Davenport •. 



* The following it in eztnA from M. Rouflcau't letter to 
Mr. Davenport on this fubjed : 

<« SiRff Woocoii, i766« 

*' Very far from being fo vain^ foolifhi and ill difpofed, at to 
refufe the favours of the King, 1 have ever regarded, and wiU 
regard, them as the greateft honour, which can be conferred on 
me. When I confulted my Lord Marifchal if 1 (hould accept 
them, it certainly ms not that I myfclf could have a doubt on 
the matter ; but it was merely complying with an indifpenfible 
duty, which did not permit me to aft in this matter without his 
confent. I was very certain he would not refufe it. But, Sir, 
were the King of England} and all tbefovereignsinthe univerfe. 


" Mr. Davenport then addrefled himfelf to Mr. 
Conway, and aiked whether k was not poffibte to 
recover wh«t tbta naan^s madnefs had thrown away i 
The fecretary replied^ that I fhould be in LondoQ 
in a few days, and that he would take no ftept in 
the afiair but at my defire and with my apprabatiom 
When the matter was propodcd to mc» I eidieited the 
General to do this a£l of charity to a man of gcnnit, 
however wild and extravagant. The King, when 
applied to, feid, that fiitce the penfion had once 
been pronnfed^ it fiiould be granted, notwithftanA* 
ing adl that had pafled in the intervaL And thsa 
the affiatir is ka^sily finifhed,. tmlefs fome new eltra* 
vagaaee come aevofa the philbfepher, amd engage 
hint ta rejed what he has a-new applied for. If 
he knew my fituadon vrith General GoMvafy he 
probably? would; for he muft dien conje&are, 
tiaat tfae a&ir could not be done without my 

^' Fergufon's book goes on here with great 
fuccefs. A few days ago I faw Mrs. Montague, 

" -- — — ' I - - - — 

to lay at my feet all their treafures and crowns by the hands of 
David Hume% or any other roan of his kind, if any fuch tjuftt, 
I would reje^hem with as much indij^nation^as, in another cafe, 
X would receive them with refpcdl and gratitude. Such are my 
fentimentSy from which nothing will make me depart. I know 
not what fate, what misfortunes, providence has in rcferve forme; 
but this I know, that the fentimtnts of rediitude and honour* 
engraven on my heart, will never leave me but with my laft 
figh, I hope that for once I have expreffed myfelf with 

Rouficau got hiipe.ifion, aft«r he left England. 



who had jud finiihed it with great pleafure : I mean 
(he was forry to finilh it, but had read it with great 
pleafure. I afked her whether {he was latisfied with 
the ftyle ? Whether it did not iavour fomewhat of 
the country ? O yes, faid (he, a great deal : It feems 
almoft impollible, that any one could write fuch a 
ftyle except a Scotfman. 

^' I find you prognofticateaveryihortdate to fny 
adauniftration« I really believe, that few (but not 
evil) will be my days. My abfence will not proba- 
bly allow my claret time to ripen, much lefs to four. 
However that may be, I hope to drink out the re- 
mainder of it with you in mirth and jollity. 

** I am fmcerely yours ufque adaras.*^ 

The produdloB of Dr. Adam Fergufon, alluded 
to in this letter, was the firft or quarto edition of his 
Ejffay an the Hi/iory of Civil Society. In the lame year 
(1767) appeai'ed the well-known work, intitled 
An Appeal to Common Senfe in behalf of Religion^ by 
Mr. James Ofwald, minifter of Methven. Mr. Tytler 
alfo publiihed a fecond edition of his Inquiry^ with 
additions ; and Dr. Campbell, in the preceding 
year, printed a new edition of his Diflertation on 
Miracles, with additions and correftions. In 1768, 
Dr. Robertfon publifhed his Hiftory of Charles V.» 
and Mr. Hume took charge of tranjfmitting the 
iheets as they were printed to M. Suard at Paris^ 
who was engaged in tranfiating that work into 
French. Suard was then dire&or of the Gazette de 
France, and undertook the tranflation of Charles V. 



at the requeft of Baron d'HoIbach, the corrtf- 
Ipondent of Dr. Robertfon. This undertaking ht 
accompliflied with fo much ability, that it was one 
caufe of bis admii&on into the French academy. 

Mr. Hume to Dr. Robertsok. 

" I got yefterday from Strahan about thirty 
fheets of your Hiftory to be fent over to Suard, and 
laft night and this morning have run them over 
with great avidity. I could not deny myfelf the 
fatisEaftion (which I hope alfo will not difpleafe you) 
of expreffing prefently my extreme approbation of 
them. To fay only they are very well written, is 
by far too faint an expreffion^ and much inferior to 
the fentiments I feel : they are compofed with noble- 
nefs, with dignity, with elegance, and with judg- 
ment, to which there are few equals. They even 
excel, and I think in a fenfible degree, your Hiftory 
of Scotland. I propofe to myfelf great pleafure in 
being the only man in England during fome months, 
who will be in the fituation of doing you juftice $ 
after which you may certainly expeft, that my voice 
will be drowned in that of the public. 

** You know that you and I have always been 
on the footmg of finding in each other's produ£Uons 
fomething to blame ^ and fomething io commend ; and, 
therefore, you may perhaps expeft alfo fome fea^ 
foningof the former kind; but really- neither my 
leifure nor inclination allowed me to make fuch 
remarks, and I fincerely believe you have afforded 



me very fmall materials for them. However, fuch 
particulars as occur to my memory I ihall mention. 
Maltreat is a Scotticifm, yhich occurs once. What 
the devil had you to do with that old-£a(hioned 
dangling word wherewith f I (hould as foon take 
back, whereupon^ whereuntOy and wherewithal. I 
think the only tolerable, decent gentleman of the 
family is wherein ; and I fhould not chufe to be 
often feen in his company. But I know your 
affe£Uon for wherewith proceeds from yoyr partiality 
to Dean Swift, whom I can often laugh with, 
whofe ftyle I can even approve, but furely can never 
admire. It has no harmony, no eloquence, no 
ornament, and not much corrednefs, whatever the 
Englifh may imagine. Were not their literature 
ftill in a fomewhat barbarous (late, that author's 
place would not be fo high among their claiEcs. 
But what a fancy is this you have taken of faying 
always an hand^ an hearty an head ? Have you 
an ear ? Do you not know that this n is added 
before vowels to prevent the cacophony, and ought 
never to take place before h when that letter is 
founded ? It is never pronounced in thefe words ; 
why fhould it be wrote ? Thus, I fhould fay, a 
bijlorjj and a hiJiorian\ and fo would you too, 
if you had any fenfe. But you tell me, that Swift 
does otherwife. To be fure there is no reply to that, 
and we mud fwallow your hath too upon the fame 
authority. I will fee you d— d fooner. But I will 
Mdeavour to keep my temper. 



"iji. '^ 


^* I do not like this fentence in page 149. TbU 
fiep was taken in confequence rf the treaty Woljiy bad 
concluded with the Emperor at Brujfelsy and whkb 
bad hitherto been kept fecret. Si fic omnia dizifles^ 
I fiiould never have been plagued vith hearing your 
praifes fo often founded, and that fools preferred 
your ftyle to mine. Certainly it had been better to 
. have laid, which Wolfey^ &c. That relative ought 
▼ery feldom to be omitted, and is here particularly 
fequifite to preferve a fymmetry between the two 
members of the fentence. You omit the relative too 
often, which is a colloquial barbarifm, as Mr» 
Johnfon calls it. 

** Your periods are fometimes, though not often, 
too long. Suard will be embarrafled with them, 
as the modifh French llyle runs into the other 

Mr. Hume to Dr. Robertson. 

<' 28th March^ 1768. 

^^ I find, then, that you are not content without 
a particular detail of your own praifes, and that the 
very fhort but pithy letter I wrote you gives you no 
fatisfadion, but what can I fay more ? The fucceli 
has anfwered my expedations : and I who converfe 
with the great, the fair, and the learned, have 
fcarcely heard an oppofite voice, or even whifpcr, 



to the general fentiment. Only I have heard, that 
the fanhedrim at Mrs. Macauley's condemns you iiB 
Httle leis a friend to government and monarchy 
than myfei£" 

Previous to undertaking the Hiftory of the De« 
cline and Fall of the Roman Empire, the celebrat- 
ed Mr. Gibbon, on the fuggeftion of his friend M. 
Deyverdun, commenced a Hiftory of the Swifs Re- 
public in the French language. In the winter of 
1 y€yj the firft book, as a fpedmen of the work, 
was read in a literaty fodety of foreigners in Lon- 
don ; and the produdion being anonymous. Gib- 
bon, who was prefent, liflened without obfervation 
to the free ftriftures of his judges. Their decifion 
was unfavourable ; and his own cooler thoughts 
having ratified this fentence, he renounced for ever 
the profecution of his defign. Hume, however, 
to whom the manufcript was fubmitted, feems to 
have entertained a different opinion, unlefs we are 
to confider the expreifions in the following letter by 
him to Mr. Gibbon, as merely the language of un- 
meaning politenefs. 

<^ Sir, London, 24th Od. 1767. 

^^ It is but a few days ago fmce M. Deyverdun 
put your manufcript into my hands, and I have pe- 
rufed it with great pleafure and iatisfadion. 1 have 
only one objection,' derived from the language in 
which it is written. Why do you compofe in 
French,' and carry faggots into the wood, as Horace 
fayt with regard to Romans who wrote in firreek? 

U Igran;^ 


I grant, that you have a like motive to thofe Ro- 
mans, and adopt a language much more genenUy 
diffufed than your native tongue : but have you not 
remarked the fate of thofe two ancient 'languages in 
following ages ? The Latin, though then lels cele- 
brated, and confined to more narrow limits, Im^ 
in fome meafure, outlived the Greek, and is now 
more generally underftood by men of letters. Let 
the French, therefore, triumph in the prefent dif- 
fufion of their tongue. Our folid and iccreafing 
eftabliihments in America, where we need lefs 
dread the inundation of barbarians, promife a (iu 
perior (lability and duration to the Englifh lan- 

*' Your ufe of the French tongue has alfo led 
you into a ftyle more poetical and figurative, and 
more highly coloured, than our language feems to 
admit of in hiftorical produfUons: for fuch is the 
praftice of French writers, particularly the more 
recent ones, who illuminate their pidures more than 
tuftom will permit us. 'On the whole, your hifto- 
ry, in my opinion, is written with fpirit and judg- 
ment; and I exhort you very eameftly to continue 
it. The objections that occurred to me on read- 
ing it; were fo frivolous, that I ihall not trdtible 
you with them, and fhould, t believe^ have a diffi- 
culty to coiled them. 

** I am, with great efteem.** 

• - 

In 1768, a new edition of Mr. Hume's Effiiys 
and Tireatifes on feveral Subjects was publifhed in 



two volumes, quarto. In the following year he 
returned to Edinburgh ; and though now advan- 
ced in life, he had (till, from the ftate of his 
health, the profpeft of long enjoying his eafe, and 
perceiving the increafe of his reputation. He was 
now become opulent, for he poffeffed a revenue of 
loooA a-year, including a penfion of 500 A from 

From this time to the period of his death, his 
life prefents nothing worthy of notice ; for his mi- 
grations from Edinburgh to London, and back 
again, ceafed to be interefting in the hiftory of li- 
terature, and were fo devoid of incident as not to 
intitle them to attention. In fpring 1775, he was 
ftruck with a diforder in his bowels, which at firfl 
gave him no alarm; but, a twelvemonth afterwards, 
proved mortal. It is impoflible not to admire and 
envy the ferenity of his mind, at the very time 
he felt the malady to be incurable. "I now," 
fays he, ** reckon upon a fpeedy diffolution. I 
have fuffered very little pain from my diforder ; and 
what is more ftrange, have, notwithftanding the 
great decline of my perfon, never fuffered a mo- 
ment's abatement of my fpirits ; infomuch that 
were I to name a period of my life, which I fhould 
mod chufe to pafs over again, I might be tempt- 
ed to point to this latter period. I poffefs the 
fame ardour as ever in fludy, and the fame gaiety 
in company. I confider befides, that a man of 
fixty-five, by dyings cuts off only a few years of in- 
firmities J and though I fee many fymptoms of my 

U2 literary 


literary reputation breaking out at laft with addi- 
tional luilre, I knew that I could have but few 
years to enjoy it. It is difEcult to be more detach- 
ed from life than I am at prefent/' Such was the 
ftate of mind in which this extraordinary man fat 
down to compofe the biographic (ketch he has ia- 
titled, My Own Life*. He had already fettled 
his affairs, and it is faid, that the property he left 
to his relations amounted to upwards of ten thou« 
fand pounds, all of hTs own acquiring f. 


* It 18 dated, i8 April, 1776. 

f The foUowing is a copy of his latter will and teftamcnt : 

** I, David Hume, fecond lawful fon of Jofcph Hoiiie« of 
NinewcUt, advocate, for the love and affedlioo I bear to John 
Home, of Nine wells, my brother, and for other caufet, DO9 
by thefe preOents, under the refer vat ions and burdens after* 
mentioned, give and dispose to the faid John Home, or, If 
he die before me, to David Home, his fecond fon, his heirs and 
afllgns whatfomever, all lands, heritages, debts, and fumt of 
money, as well heritable as moveable^ which fhall belong to ne 
at the time of my deccafe, as alfo my whole clFeds in general^ 
real and perfonal, with and under the burden of the following 
legacies^ viz. to my fider Catharine Home, the fum of twelve 
hundred pounds fterling, payable the fird term of Whit*funday, 
or Martinmas, after my deceafe, together with all my Englifk 
books, and the life-rent of my houfe in St. Janurs's court, or in 
cafe that houfe be fold at the time of my deceafe, twenty 
pounds a-year during the whole courfe of her life : to my friend 
Adam Fcrgufon, ProfefFor of Moral Philofophy in the College 
of Edlnbui^h, two hundred pounds fterKng : to my friend M. 
d*Alembert, member of the French Academy, and of the 
Academy of Sciences in Paris, two hundred pounds : to my 
friend Dr. Adam Smith, late frofeffor of Moral Philofophy in 



In 1 775, Mr. Gibbon publiflied the firfl; volume 
of his Hiftory, in quarto j and Mr. Hume, who 


Glafgowi I leave all my Tnaniifcripts without exception, defir- 
ing him to publifh my Dialogues on Naiural Religion^ which are 
comprehended in this prcfent bequeft ; but to publifh no other 
papers which he fufpedls not to have been written within thefe 
five yearsy but to de flroy them all at his kifure : and I even 
leave him full power over all my papers, except the Dialogues 
above-mentioned ; and though I can trudto that intimate and 
fincere friendfliip, which has ever fubfided between us, for his 
faithful execution of this part of my will, yet, as a fmall re* 
compence of his pains in corredllng and publifhing this work, I 
leave him two hundred pounds, to be paid immediately after 
the publication of it : I alfo leave to Mrs. Anne and Mrs. 
Janet Hepburn, daughters of Mr James Hepburn, of K«ith, 
one hundred pounds a piece : to my coulin, David CampbeH, 
fon of Mr. Campbell, minifter of Lillysleaf, one hundred pounds: 
to the Infirmary of Edinburgh, fifty pounds : to all the fer*> 
▼ants, who (hall be in my fiimily at the time of my deceafe, one 
year's wages ; and to my houfekeeper, Margaret Irvine, three 
year's wages : and I alfo ordain, that my brother, or nephew^ 
or executor, whoever he be, fhall not pay up to the faid Mar- 
garet Irvine, without her own confent, any fum of money which 
I (haU owe her at the time of my deceafe, whether by bill, bond, 
or for wages, but (hall retain it in his hand, and pay her the 
legal intereft upon it, till (he demand the principal : and in cafe 
my brother above-mentioned (hall furvive me, I leave to his fon 
David, the fum of a thoufand pounds to afiifl him in hiscdiw 
cation : but in cafe that by my brother's death before me, th^ 
fucceffion of my eftate and effeds (hall devolve to the aforefaid 
David, I hereby burden him, over and above the payment of 
the aforefaid legacies, with the payment of the fums following : 
to his brothers, Jofeph ind John, a thoufand pounds a-piece : 
^o his fillers, Catharine and AgneSt five hundred pounds a piece: 
}U lybich fums^ as well as every fum contained in the prefea 

U 3 difpofitioi) 

ig^ LIFE AND WRirmos 

was ever gratified by the fuccefs of his friends, tef- 
tlfied his happinefs on the occafion in the following 
letter to the author. 

diTpoiltion (except that to Dr. Smith to be payable the fir ft 
term of Whit-fuoday and MartiDmas, after my deceafe ; ami 
all of them^ without exception, in fterling money. And I do 
hereby nominate and appoint the faid John Home* my brother^ 
and failing of him by deceafe the faid David Home» to be my 
fole executor and univerfal legatee, with and under the bordcM 
above mentioned ; refcrving always full power and liberty to me 
at any time in my life, even in dcath-bed> to alter and innovate 
thcfe prefents, in whole or in part, and to burden the fame with 
fuch other legacies as I fhaU think fit. And I do hereby de* 
dare thefe prefents to be a good, valid» and fiifficient evi^ 
dence, albeit {bund in my cuflody, or in the cuftody of any 
other perfoD at the time of my death, &c. {in common JlykJ) 
Signed, 4 January* 17 6, before thcfe wirnefltB, the Right Ho* 
xiourable the Eail of Home, and Mr. John M'Gowan, Clerk 
to the Signet. 

'* Datid Hums. . 

<< I alfo ORDAIN, that if I fhall die any where in Scothndy 
I (liall be buried in a private manner in the Calton churchyardy 
the fouth fide of it, and a monument to be built over my body^ 
at an expence not exceeding a hundred pounds^ with an infcrip- 
tion containing only my name, with the year of my birth and 
death, leaving it to pofterity to add the refl. 

" At Editiburgbf 15 April, iyy6, David Hume. 

** I alfo leave for rebuilding the bridge of Chumfide the fum 
of a hundred pounds ; but on condition that the managers of 
the bridge (hall take none of the ilones for building the bridge 
from the quarry of Ninewclls, except from that part of the 
quarry which has been already opened. I leave to my nephew 
Jofeph, the fum of fifty pounds to enable him to make a good 
fufficient drain and fewer round the hoofe of Nincwells, but on 
condition that if that drain and fewer be not madci from what- 


*' Dear Sir, Edioburgh, i8th March, 1776. 

. *' As I ran through your volume of hiftory with 
great, avidity and impatience, I cannot forbear dif- 
covering fomewhat of the fame impatience in re« 
turning you thanks for your agreeable .pre£ent, and 
exprefllng the fatisfadion which the performance 
has given me. Whether I confider the dignity of 
your ftyle, the depth of your matter, or the ex- 
tenfivenefs of your learning, I muft regard the 
work as equally the objeA of efleem ; and I own, 
that if I had not previoully had the happinefs of 
your perfonal acquaintance, fuch a performance, 
from an Engliflunan in our age, would have given 
me fome furprife. You may fmile at this fenti- 
ment ; but a» it feems tq * ipe that yo\ir country- 
men, for almoft a whole generation, have given 
themfelves up to barbarous and abfurd faction, and 
have to^ily neglected all polite letters, I no longer 
expeded any valuable produftion ever to come fron;i 
them« I know it will give you pleafure (as it did 
me) to find that all the men of letters in this place 
concur in their admiration of your work, and in 
their aaxipus defire of your continuing it. , 


CTcr cauCe withia a jtwr after my deith, the laid fifty pounds 
(hall be paid to the poor of the patifli of Churofide: to my 
fifter, indead of aU my Englifh books, I leave her a hondred 
volumes at hfcr choice : €0 TkArid Waite^ tcrnitt to my brother, 
I leave the fom of tec pouodar payable the firft term after my 

^ Datid Hume.'* 

U4 * ^^When 


*' When I heard of your undertaking, (which 
was fome time ago,) I own I was a little curious to 
fee how you would extricate yourfelf from the fub- 
je£t of your two lafl: chapters* I think you have 
obferved a very prudent temperament ; but it was 
impoffible to treat the fubjeft fo as not to give 
grounds of fufpicion againft you, and you may ex* 
ped that a clamour will arife. This^ if any thing, 
will retard your fuccefs with the public ; for in 
every other refped your work is calcubted to be 
popular. But, among many other marks of de- 
cline, the prevalence of fuperftition in England 
prognofticates the fall of philofophy and decay of 
tafte ; and though nobody be more capable than 
you to revive them, you will probad^ly find a fhnjg- 
gle in your firft advances. 

*' I fee you entertain a great doubt with regard 
to the authenticity of the poems of Ofllan. You 
are certainly right in fo doing. It is, indeed, 
flrange, that any men of fenfe could have imagined 
it poflible, that above twenty thoufand verfes, 
along with numberlefs hiftorical fads, could have 
been preferved by oral tradition during fifty genera- 
tions, by the rudeft, perhaps, of all European na- 
tions, the mofl neceffitous, the moft turbulait, and 
the mod unfcttled. Where a fuppofidon is fo con- 
trary to common fenfe, any pofitive evidence of it 
ought never to be regarded. Men run with great 
avidity to give their evidence in favour of what 
flatters their paflions, and their national prejudices. 



You are, therefore, over and above indulgent to us 
in fpeaking of the matter with hefitation. 

*• I muft inform you, that we are all very anxious 
to hear, that you have fiilly colleSed the materials 
for your fecond volumet and that you are even 
coiiliderably advanced in the compofition of it I 
fpeak this more in the name of my friends than in 
my own j as I cannot expedt to live fo long as to 
fee the publication of it. Your enfuing volume 
will be more delicate than the preceding, but I 
truft in y6ur prudence for extricating you from 
difficulties; and, in all events, you have courage to 
deipife the clamour of bigots. 

"I am, with great regard^^* 

A few months before his death, Mr Hume was 
prevailed on by the entreaties of his friends, to try 
the effe^B of a long journey and the Bath waters *• 
Having accordingly fettled his affairs, and drawli 
up the account of his life, which was aft^rwaxdn 
publifhed by Mr. Strahan, he fet out for Lon- 
don towards the end of April 1776. At Mor« 
peth he met Mr. John Home and Dr. Adam Srrddi^ 
who had come from London purpofely to fee him^ 
Mr. Home returned with him to the capital, and 
Dr. Smith proceeded to Edinburgh. 

' . * F6raB acooQflt of the clofing foeiie of cidf avtbor'i life, I 
am chiefly indebted tO' Dr. Adam Smith's kttcr to Bfr. 
Strahan^ which cootaini a veiy circuipflaatial annrrative ef that 




On his arrival in London, our author found his 
heakh fo much improved by exercife and the 
change of air, that he was able to continue hisr 
journey to Bath, where he derived fo much benefit 
from the watei*s, that even he himfelf began to ei^ 
tertain a flight hope of his necpvery. But the 
fymptoms returning with their accuftomed noleno), 
and his malady increaling^ he found it necei&ry to 
iet out for Scotland. His cheerfubiefe, , however, 
never forfook him. He wrote 4etterd to his literary 
friend^ informing them of his intentJoDr to bf at 
£dinbungh on a certain day, and inviting them tp 
dine with him on the day following. It was 9 kind 
of fiarewt'll dinner, and among thofe whp came to 
partake of the hofpitality of the dying hiftorian, 
were Lord EHbank, Dr. Smith, Dr. Blair, Dr, 
Black, Ptofeilbr Fergufon, and John Home. . . 

After his return to Edinburgh, Miu Hume, 
though extremely debilitated by difeafe, went abroafl 
ai. times in a £efdan chair, and; called on his fdenda; 
but his ghaftly looks indicated the rapid approach 
€f death. He diverted himfelf with correcting his 
^dratrks for a new edition, with ireading books pf 
. amufement, with the conver&ticm of his friends, 
and fometimiea in the evening with a p^trty ait.hisllfli- 
vourite game of whift. His facetioui^¥& ied. hi^i 
to indulge occafionally in the bagatelle. Among 
other verbal legacies, in making which he amofed 
h?mlelf, the following whitnfical oni* ha6 been pfe- 
4ated. ' The author of Douglas is faJd to have a 
mortal averfion to port wine, and to have had fre- 


quent difputes with the hiftorian about the mannef 
of fpelling his name. Both thefe circumftiinces 
were often the fubjeft of Mr. Hume's raillery; and 
he verbally bequeathed to the poet ' a quantity of 
port wine, on condition that he fhould always drink 
a bottle at a fitting, and give a receipt for it under 
the fignature of John Hwme. 

Dr. Smith has recorded an inftance of Mr. 
Hume's fportive difpofition, and it alfo fhews the 
placidity of his mind, notwithftanding the profpeflb 
of fpeedy diffolution. Colonel Edmondft one came 
to take leave of him; and on his way home, hfe 
could not forbear writing Hume a letter, bidding 
him once more an eternal adieu, and applying to 
him the French verfes in which the Abb6 Chau- 
lieu, in expeftation of his own death, laments his 
approaching feparation from his friend the Marquis 
de la Fare. Dr. Smith happened to eiiter the'room 
while Mr. Hume was reading the letter ; aiM^n tftfe 
courfe of the converfation it gave rife to, Hume 
exprefled the (atisfa^tion he had of leaving his 
friends, and his brother's family in particular, in 
profperous circumftances. This, he faid, he felt 
fo fenfibly, that when he was read&ig, a few days 
before, Lucian's Dialogues of the De<id, he could 
not, among all the excufes which are alleged to 
Charon for not entering readily into his boat, find 
one that fitted him. He had no faoufe to finifii ; he 
had no daughter to provide for j he h^d no ene- 
mies upon whom he wMied * to revenge himfelf. 
*' I could not well imagine,^ bid he^ ^* what ex- 



cufe I could make to Charon, in order to obtain a 
little delay. I have done every thing of confe- 
quence which I ever meant to do, and I could at no 
time exped to leave . my relations and friends in a 
better fituation than that in which I am now likelj 
to leave them : I therefore have all reafon to die 

He then diverted himfelf, continues Dr. Smith, 
ynth inventing feveral jocular excufes which he fup- 
pofed he might make to Charon, and with imaginp 
ing the very furly anfwers which it might fuit the 
charader of Charon to return to thenu *^ Upon 
further confideration," faid he, ^^ I thought I might 
fay to him, good Charon, I have been corre£Ung 
my works for a new edition. Allow me a little 
time, that I may fee how the public receives 
the alterations." But Charon would anfwer, 
^*' When you fee the eflfed of thefe, you will 
be for making other alterations. There will 
be no e^d of fuch excufes ; fo, honefl friend, pleaf^ 
ftep into the boat." But I might ftill urge, ^* Hav^ 
a little patience, good Charon, | baye been end^ 
vouring to open the pyes of the public. If I live a 
few years longer, I may have the fatisfadion of 
feeing the downfall of fome of the prevailing fyi^ 
terns of fuperflition." But Charon would then 
lofe all temper and decency : *' You loitering 
rogue, that will not happen thefe many hundred 
years. Do you fancy I will grant you a leafe for 
fo long a term ? Get into the boat f his injlan^ 
you lazy loitering rogue." 



The hour of his departure had now arrived. His 
decline being gradual, he T¥as, in his laft; moments, 
perfectly fenfible, and free from pain. He (hewed 
not the flighteft indication of impatience or fretful- 
nefs, but converfed with the people around him in a 
tone of mildnefs and affedion; and his whole conduft 
evinced a happy compofure of mind. On Sunday, 
the 25th of Auguft 1776, about four o'clock in 
the afternoon, this great and amiable man expired. 
He was buried in a rocky fpot, which he had pur* 
chafed in the Calton burying ground ; and, agree- 
ably to his will, a plain monument was afterwards 
ereded on the place of his interment. 

After Mr. Hume's death, his Dialogues concern^ 
ing Natural Religion were, according to the direc- 
tions he had left, publiihed under the fupeiintend- 
cnce of Dr. Adam Smith, and now form part of 
his colledted EiTays. Two trads, afcribed to him, 
were afterwards pubHfhed at London ; the one On 
Suicide^ and the other On the Immortality of the SouL 
Thefe effays, though the mode of writing and of 
reafoning might induce one to fuppbfe them ge- 
nuine, have never been acknowledged by his friends, 
and are believed to be fpurious. 

The private charaSer of Mr. Hume is univerfal- 
ly acknowledged to have been unexceptionable: 
but notwithftanding the eulogium he fometimes be- 
ftows on the equanimity of his own temper, it is 
known, that he felt the attacks on his literary repu- 
tation with exquiHte fenfibility; and although he 




perfevered in the refolutlon of writing no anfwers 
to his antagonifts, except in the (ingle cafe of the 
quarrel with Roufleau, he did not always receive 
the criticifms of others with the apathy he profeifes^ 
The fevere animadverfions of Mr. Gray, in his 
Letters publiihed by Mafon, are (aid to have given 
him much concern ; and his behaviour to Mr. Tyt- 
ler, the vindicator of Queen Mary, had fomething 
like illiberaliry in it. Such, indeed, was the anti« 
pathy which fubfifted between him and the laft 
named gentleman, that they would not fit in com- 
pany together, and the appearance of the one 
caufed* the immediate departure of the other. 

There is a vein of fportive humour and a play- 
fulnefs of fancy in the epiftolary correfpondence of 
our author. Dr. Robertfon ufed frequently to fay, 
that in Mr. Hume's gaiety there was fomething 
which approached to infantine, and that he had found 
the fame thing fo often exemplified in the circleof his 
other friendr, that he was almoft difpofed to confi- 
der it as charaderiftical of genius*. But the beft 
and juflefl account of Mr. Hume is that given by 
himfelf in the condufion of his biographic narra- 
tive, fo often alluded to in the courfe of this work* 
** To conclude hiftorically/* fays he, ** with my 
own charafVer, I am, or rather was (for that is the 
ilyle I mud now ufe in fpeaking of myfelf, which 
emboldens me the more to fpeak my fentiments,) I 

• Profcffor Stewart's Life of Dr. Robertfon ; a wotk to 
V'hich I am indebted fur feveral letter by Mr. Hume. 


was, I fay, a man of mild . difpofldon, of com- 
mand of temper, of an open, focial, and cheerful 
humour, capable of attachment, but little fufcepU- 
ble of enmity, and of great moderation in all my 
paflions. Even my love of literary feme, my rul- 
ing pafTion, never foured my tempei', notwithftand- 
ing my frequent difappointments. My company 
was not unacceptable to the young and carefefs, as 
well as to the ftudious and literary ; and as I took 
a particular pleafure in the company of modeft wo- 
men, I had no reafon to be difpleafed with the re- 
ception I met with from them. In a word, though 
mod men, any wife eminent, have found reafon to 
complain of calumny, I never was touched, or 
even attacked, by her baleful tooth ; and though I 
wantonly expofed ijiyfelf to the rage of both 
civil and religious fe^ions, they feemed to be 
difarmed in my behalf of their wonted fury. 
My friends never had occafion to vindicate any one 
circumftance of my chara&er and condud: ; not but 
that the zealots^ we may well fuppofe, would have 
been glad to invent and propagate any ftory to my 
difadvantage, but they could never find any which 
they thought would wear the face of probability. 
I cannot fay thete is no vanity in making this fu- 
neral oration of myfelf j but I hope it is not a mif- 
placed one ; and this is a matter of fa£i: which is 
eafily cleared and afcertained." 

In his literary charafter, Mr. Hume is to be con- 
-fidered, i* a\s a vietaphyjichn : 2. As 2i jturaliji : 
,3. As a writer en general frlify : and 4. Ajs a pi/ia^ 



rian. His lighter pieces on fubjeds coxme&ed with 
the belles letters or polite literature, we may pab 
over unnoticed, as agreeable trifles involving none 
of thofe important queftions which interdl the 
welfare, or demand the ferious inquiry, of man^ 

I. In appreciating Mr. Hume's knowledge of 
metaphyflcal fcience, we naturally commence with 
a review of his firft work, or Treatife on Human 
Nature ; taking care, however, ;iot to afcribe to 
him any of its tenets, which have been fubfe- 
quently altered in his Efiay on the Human Under- 

It may, perhaps, appear to be a homely remark, 
but it is not the iefs juft, that, in perufing any worie 
of a difquifitionary nature^ the firft thing, to which 
a reader ought to direCt his attention, is the table 
of contents. It is not a mere enumeration of the 
,differcnt topics treated of in the text, which this ta- 
ble prefents to an intelligent inquirer. If he finds 
in it a lucidus ordo in the arrangement of the plan ; 
if he finds that natural fuccef&on, or conned feries 
of difcuflion, which gives perfpicuity and precifioa 
to a literary performance, he is incKned to form a 
favourable opinion of the abilities of the writer. A 
very flight infpection of the tables of contents, pre* 
fixed to the writings of Adam Smith or Dr. Reid, 
^ho were contemporaries of Mr. Hume, will ena- 
ble a man of ordinary cs^acity to obferve the inti-^ 
mate dependence, which each fucceffive cfaapter has 


Of DaVID HUME, £8Q» / ^0$ 

on that preceding it, and to comprehend at one 
view the general fcope and objed of the author* 
But we look for this in vain in Mr. Hume's Treatife; 
and the confequence of his failure or negle£l ia 
corrednefs of arrangement and divifion of the fub» 
jed, 18 a tirefome repetition of argtiments a^id opi- 
nions, which tends to involve the whole in confufioa 
and obfcurity* 

Our author begins his Treatife with ah inquiiy 
into the or^;ia of ideas ; and as diis forms the ba- 
iis of his fyftem, it merits particular notice. He 
informs us, that all perceptions of the human mind 
refolve themfelves into two diftind idnds, which 
he ftyles imprejjimu and ideas. The cfifference 
between thefe he makes to confift in the de* 
grees of f(^ce and livelineTs^ with which thejr ftrike 
upon the mind, and make their way into our 
thought or coniciouiheis. The perceptions, which 
enter with moft force and violence are impreffionst 
and comprehend our feniations, paffions, and esi^ 
tions, as they make their firft appearance in the 
fouL By ideas he means ^^ tbefamt images of thefe 
impreffions in thinking and reafonmg ; fudi as, for 
inflance, are aU the perceptions excited by the pra^ 
fent difcourfe, excepting oidy thofe whidi arife from 
the iight aad touch, and excepting the imniediatie 
pleafuie or uneafineft it may oocafion *•'* With* 
out atteoqpfting to elucidate the olifcore verbiage 
in the latta: patt of this iedmoe, it may be ob^ 


X ierved. 


ferved, that the diftindion made by our author, al» 
though not very perfpicuous, feems to refer the firift 
feries of perceptions to feeling, and the hft to 
thinking. If an uncouthnefs of (lyle occafionalij 
appear in the detail of Mr. Hume's opinions in thk 
work, it will ferve as an apology that his own lan- 
guage is always employed, which, in his earlier pro* 
duftions, was not very remarkable for its claffic de* 
gance and correfbiefs. 

He farther explains in a notCj the meaning which 
'he affixes to each of thefe words. ** I here," he 
obferves, ^^ make ufe of thefe terms, impreflioR and 
idea, in a fenfe different from what is ufual, and I 
. hope this liberty will be allowed me. Perhaps I 
rather reilore the word idea to its original fenle, 
from which Mr. Locke had perverted it in making 
it ftand for all our perceptions. By the term im^ 
prejjion^ I would not be underftood to exprefs the 
manner in which our lively perceptions are produ- 
ced in the foul, but merely the perceptions thenu 
felves, for which there is no particular name, either 
in the Englifh or any other language that I know 
of.'* Mr. Hume, however, and not Mr. Locke, 
has perverted the true fenfe of the word idea ; for 
according to the philofophical import of that term, 
it does not iignify that a£t of the mind, which we 
call thought, and with which our author confounds 
it; but it implik fome objed or agent of thought^ 
or, more corre£tly fpeaking, ideas and perceptiona, 
whether lively or faint, are eflentially the fame, and 
they are fo without the iixtennedium of images. 



Metaphyficians who reafon by analogy from the 
phenomena of the material world, without confi- 
dering that the laws of matter are inapplicable to 
the operations of mind, are continually expofing 
themfelves to error by the affumption of erroneous 
datay and the deduction of . falfe concluflons; and 
in no inftance is this more frequent than. in the 
examples derived from the fenfe of fight. Mr. 
Hume, indeed, profeffes to employ the experi* 
mental mode of reafoning; but he deviates from 
It in the very outfet, Inftead of trufting to an ac- 
curate obfervation of the manner, in which his own 
mind is called into adion, and continues to a£t, he 
readily adopts the arguments of his predeceflqr?, 
which they again have borrowed from the common 
theories of vifion, without trying them by the te(l 
of their other fenfes. 

It would require greater amplitude of inveftiga- 
tion than the nature of this work will permit, to 
point out the caufes which have given rife to fo uni- 
verfal a miftake on the part of metaphyficians. 
To draw general inferences, whether well or ill- 
founded, from one fenfe only, is obvioufly taking 
too narrow a view of the fubject. We can eafily 
underftand a perfon, when he fpeaks of an exter- 
nal objed and of its coloured image on the retina 
of the eye. That image, however, is neither an 
impreffion nor an idea: it is an agent employed by 
nature to excite an idea, or produce a perception ; 
but the manner in which it does fo is unknown ; and 
in confequence of a morbi4 ftate of the optic nerve, 

X a aa 


an indiyidual may not even be confdous of die eif<^ 
iftence of this image, that is, experience a fenfib>i 
tion from the agenqr of it, although Ins eye flStt 
continues to form the image on the retina* 

But, fays Mr. Hume, the fabt images of thefe 
Impreffions in thinking and reafoning conftitute our 
ideas. Now, it may be alked, what is meant bf 
the images of found, tafte, fmell, or touch? What 
b the image of hardnefs, heat, cold, or any of the 
qualities and modes of matter? and, as he coa^' 
prehends under the generic term of impreffiMs,^ • 
not only all our external fenfations, but alfo oof 
paffions and emotions, it may be lUcewife aiked^ 
what can he mean by images of pride, anger, ple^ 
fure, or paint The anfwer is obvious; for nt^ 
man, from the adual phenomena of his fenfes and 
paffions, can pretend to a confdonfnefs of thefe 
images. Yet it would follow from our author^i. 
doctrine, that we can have no ideas without thft 
pre-exiftence of images, which, in faft, have fid 
exiftence. Such are the palpable contradi6tioiito 
and abfurdities into which Mr. Hume has fialleii, bjr 
inconfiderately adopting the notions of his predfr- 
ceflfors, and their inaccurate modes of phildfo-^ 


The divifion of perceptions into impreffions aiul 
ideas, is flill farther exceptionable ; for a diflfeirtftbfe 
in degree is not a difference in quality. Wh6Ut 
perfon touches any thing, he experiences, is cMMt. 
fcious of, or has a percq)tion or idea of ft cettallk 


CF DAVIP HUM£> E80t^ $09 

feeliagy and to diftinguifli its quality or relative de« 
grecs, particular words have been conlrived. Tho 
fenfatioa he thus experiences mayt perhaps, be that 
which we ftyle hardnefs; but this fenfation, or, 
what is the fame, the confciou(heis of it, may ac- 
tually be mind itfelf ; for we have no good reafoQ 
to authorize our believing, that the fenfadon of 
hardnefs forms an obje& diftin^ from, although 
prefent to, the mind. In fine, the identity of per-* 
ception, confdoufnels, and idea, poay be &irly 
maintained} at leaft« the faculties of the bu-* 
man underlbuiding are incapable of diflinguiihing 

The fubfequent illuftrations, which Mr. Hume 
introduces, are no le& defective and unphilofophi^ 
^aL From the refemblance, which he difcovers 
between impreflions and ideas in every other par« 
acular^ except their degree of force and vivacity, 
he maintains, that the one feem to be, in a man- 
ner, the refledion of the other ; fo that all the per* 
ceptions of the mind are double, and appear both 
as impreflions and ideas. ^^ When," he adds, ** I 
(hut my eyes, and think of my chamber, the ideas 
I form are exaO: reprefentadons of the imprdlions I 
felt, nor is there any circumitance of the one, 
which is not to be found in the other.'' 

Here he confounds perception and memory, two 
Tery different powers of the minH. When he 
views his chamber with his eyes^open, he ezpeii- 
^gtjf^ n9l 9nly f^pqiiMJons, hut wha( in his fyflem 

Xj he 


he calls impreflions, which " ftrike with a very lively 
force upon the mind/* Still, however, according 
to his own dodrine, he has not acquired any ideas ; 
for thefe are only ** the faint images of impreffions 
in thinking and reafoning.** It would follow, there- 
fore, that to obtain an exaft idea of his chambei*, 
he muft contemplate it with his eyes fhut; or 
would he rather be underftood to fignily, that if he 
kept his eyes open, and thought of his chamber, 
his mind embraced, at the fame time, both the 
lively impreffions and their faint images or ideas ? 
A more accurate reafoner would have explained 
the phenomena in a very different manner. He 
would have fhewn, that perception, confcioufnefs, 
nnd idea in its true philofophical meaning, (and 
cVen the term impreffion in Mr. Hume^s fenfe of it," 
for he difclaims the fynonymy of impreffion aUd 
fenfation) are the fame, as far as our mental 
powers are competent to difcovel* ; and he would 
have fhewn, that memory is the faculty which na- 
ture employs in preferving, or recalling, ideas or 
perceptions arifing from the operation of external 
gbjeflfs on our fenfes. 

Notwithftandlng thefe obvious errors, Mr. Hume, 
in his Eflay on the Human Underftandinff, peri 
fifls in giving the fame divifion of percepttoils 
which he had adopted in his Treatife, as will ap- 
pear from the following pafTage in Seflion II. « Of 
the Origin of Ideas."— "We may, therefore," 
fays he, " divide all the perceptions of the mind 
}nto two claffes or fpecies, which are diflinguiihed 


or DAVID HUME, ESQ. 3 1 1 


by their different degrees of force and vivacity. 
The lefs forcible and lively are conunoaly denomi* 
nated thoughts or ideas. The other fpedes want a 
name in our language, and in mod others ; I fup* 
pofe, becaufe it was not requifite for any, but phi- 
loibphical purpofes, to rank them under a general 
term or appellation. Let us, therefore, ufe a little 
freedom, and call them impreffions ; employing that 
word in a fenfe fomewhat different from the ufual. 
By the term impreffion^ then, I mean all our more 
lively perceptions, when we hear, or fee, or feel, 
or love, or bate, or defire, or will : and impref- 
fions are diftinguKhed from ideas, which are the 
lefs lively perceptions of which we are confcious, 
when we refled on any of thofe fenfations or move- 
ments above-mentioned." 

It is, doubtlefs, allowable to every man, who 
writes a fyftem of fcience or of art, to employ 
what terms he pleafes, provided he gives corre^ 
definitions of them in the outfet But if he em- 
ploys, in a fenfe very different from their common 
acceptation, terms to which mankind have glready 
attached a definite meaning, it is obvious that this 
pradice mud occafion endlefs confufion. The 
figns in algebra, and the abitrad: terms in mathe- 
matics, are merely arbitrary; and fo were the 
words of every original language at its commence* 
ment; but their ufe and purport being once fixed 
by common confent, the perfon who ventures to 
alter or reverfe them, will fcarcely merit applaufe 
for his ingenuity* Tfaefe arguments apply ftill more 

X4 forcibly 


fbrdbly to moral philofophy^ where k b not etfy to 
keep long the mind fteady in any train of tho«gbt ; 
a difficulty cflenrially increafed by ad(^itiQg aew and 
unufual explanations of well known terms. 

In the paflage we kaTe quoted, Mr. Hume, abas* 
doning his theory of images, gives a more ftrift 
and determinate limitation to the words, impriffim 
and idea^ than he has done in his Treatife. By the 
former he ieems to mean an idea with the prefence 
of a feniation, and by the latter an idea without it« 
Every philofopher muft acknowledge, that die idea 
he has of an external objed is more lively and 
forcible, when the objeft is prefent to the fenfea^ 
than when it is not. This, however, is merely a 
difference in degree, and not in quality ; and if any 
writer on metaphyfics (hould chufe to defignate 
the two cafes by particular terms, he is warranted 
in doing fo, though not certainly in feleding, as 
Mr. Hume does, a word to which a fpecific meaiw 
ing has been already affixed, very different from 
that in which he would employ it. A fuperfidal 
attention to the phenomena, and a defcription di 
theifi in the ordinary phrafeology of the Englifli 
language, would at once have corroded this error 
of our author ; for he muft have remarked, that 
every external objed, by making an impreffiM^ or 
a£ting upon the o);gans of fenfe, induces a confd- 
oufnefs or idea of the obj(^ he beheld : and that 
PUr ideas, becoming the objeds or agents of 

fhpught, su^ employed in the procefs of refleOiofu 

« ■ ■ . 



As the dodrine of the origin of ideas is the 
foundation on which the fupcarftrudure of every 
metaphyfical fyftem is reared, it is neceflfary to be- 
flow longer confideration on that part of our au« 
thor's work, than can be devoted to the reft. To 
give a complete review of his opinicHis would be, 
in fa£l:, to prefent a complete refutation of them^ 
and compofe a volume on the philofophy of the hu- 
man mind. 

Mr. Hume, in his Treatife, again divides our 
percq>tion6 into fimple and complex, that is, into 
tingle percepticMis and combinations of them, as 
they may be ccmfidered feparately or in union. To 
this diviiion he has recourfe, in order to limit the 
general dedfion, which he had formed, that our 
ideas and impreiSons ^^ are refembling," or refem- 
ble each other. " I obferve," fays he, " that 
many of our complex ideas never had impreffions 
that correfponded to them, and that many of our 
complex impreffions never are -exaAly copied in 
ideas. I can imagine to myfelf fuch a city as the 
New Jerufalem, whofe pavement is gold andj'ubies^ 
though I never faw any fuch. I have feen Paris, 
but fliall I affirm I can form fuch an idea of that 
city, as will perfe&Iy reprefent all its ftreets and 
houfes in their real and juft proportions ?" 

This manner of ftating the propofition is eae^ 
tremely vague ; for it impUes, that Mr. Hume 
might have ideas without impreilions, the faint 
images of which he formerly reprefented to give 



rife exclufively to ideas, or rather to be themfdves 
ideas. According to cuftom, our author, in this 
paffage, confounds imagination and memory, two 
very diflferent powers of the mind. The human 
faculties, akhough wifely adapted to all the poflible 
purpofes of man, are limited in their extent and 
J>owers, and each has its peculiar province. 

When a man lays his hand on a piece of marble, 
he becomes fenfible of its quality of hardnefe. 
Let this marble ceafe to be prefent to his fenfe of 
touch ; let it no longer be an immediate objeft of 
perception, he can ftill form a notion of its hard- 
nefs, ftill retain an idea of it, or, as fome philofo- 
phers would exprcfs it, ftill form a juft conception 
of it. In like manner we acquire a knowledge of 
the various qualities of external objefts by our 
fenfes ; and in preferving or recalling that know« 
ledge, a procefs takes place fimilar to that men- 
tioned in the cafe of the fenfe of touch. The mind 
has alfo a power of modifying its ideas. It can fe- 
parate the ideas of the different qualities of fub- 
itanccs. It can divide them into parts. It can 
combine thefe with others in endlefs variety, and 
thus form new wholes. This power of creation, 
if iiie expR ilion may be allowed, is ftyled the ima- 
;^n'n;ition. Jiut however fantaftic thefc combinations 
may be, fiich as elephants with wings, and the like 
creatures of a prolific and extravagant fancy, it 
' cannot be faid that " many of our complex ideas 
never had imprcflions correfponding to them }*•' 
^;r all the fingle perceptions or ideas, which are the 



component parts of fuch complex ideas, muft have 
been originally excited by external objedts, and 
have continued familiar to the mind. Though Mr. 
Hume, therefore, could form accurate i^eas of the 
external objefts prefent to his fenfes, it does not 
follow that he ought to have been able to form with 
precifion fo complex and vail an idea as that of an 
immenfe city. In faft, the powers of his imagination 
as to comprizing at once and correftly the ftreets 
and pavements of the New Jerufalem were as much 
limited, as the powers of his conception or thofe of 
his memory refpefting Paris. It is, therefore, 
equally erroneous, that many of our complex im* 
preflions are never exaftly copied in ideas. 

After obferving that our complex impreflions 
and ideas, though greatly refembling, are not 
exa£t copies of each other, Mr. Hume proceeds to 
inquire how the cafe (lands with our fimple percep- 
tions in this refped, and iinifhes with a very unex- 
pefted conclufion. " Thus,*' fays he, ** we find, 
that all fimple ideas and impreflions refemble each 
other, and as the complex are formed from them^ 
we may affirm, in general, that thefe two fpecies of 
perception are exadly correfpondent :" an infer- 
ence in open hoftility with the dodrine which he had 
juft delivered. 

As we have endeavoured to point out the very un- 
philofophical diftinftion he has introduced between 
impreflions and ideas, and, it is hoped, fhewn the 
j[allacy of his ideal theory by feint isiages of im« 


31 6 UTS AND WaiTIKl^a 

prefHons, it does not appear nece0ary to purfoe the 
inquiry, by inveftigating the principles of caufadon 
which he advances, and his opinions reljpcding the 
infinite divifibility of fpace and time^ and tbf if^imte 
divifibility of our ideas of fpace and time : difcordant 
inferences are the inevitable refult of an bypoth^ 
eifentially erroneous. 

Without profecuting farther, therefore, the re^ 
view of his Treatife, the tenets in which have beea 
publicly difclaimed by the author, in fo &r as they 
differ from thofe in his Enquiry, we fhali confine 
our fubfequent obfervations to this lad performance. 
It does not profefs to be, like the Treatife, a eom*. 
plete fyftem, but is rather a coUedion of eilays on 
mctaphyfical fubjeds, poflefling a connexion with 
each other. The topics, however, on which it 
treats, are nearly the fame with thofe in the Trea« 
tife, but it is cleared from the falfe reafonings and 
<:ontradidions of the latter; and while it difplays tha 
vigour of his underdanding, it alfo affords honoiuiF 
ble evidence of his induftry, and the progrefs of hk 
mental improvement, during the time which elapf-* 
cU between the appearance of thefe two publi* 

The fubjecls difcuffcd in the Enquiry are the foU 

Jewing : 

SeQ. L Of the different Species of Philofophy. 
II. Of the Origin of Ideas* 
m. Of the Affociation of Ideas, 

IV. Sceptical 


IV. Sceptical Doubts concerning the Opera- 
tions of the Underftanding. 
V. Sceptical Solution of thefe Doubts 
VI. Of Probability, 

Vn. Of the Idea ot neceflfary Connedion* 
VIII. Of Liberty and Ncceffity* 
IX. Of the Reafon of Animals. 

X. Of Miracles. ^ 

XI. Of a particular PtDvidencei and of a futut^ 

XII. Of the academical or fceptical I%ilofophy. 

Thefe eflays are but little fufceptible of analyfis: 
we fhall, however, endeavour to give a rapid 
iketch of them, interfperfed with a few remarks Oli 
peculiar or exceptionable opinions. 

In his brief notice of the difi^renf fpecies of phi^ 
lofophy^ Mr. Hume confiders man, firft, as bom 
for a£Uon, and as influenced in his meafures by 
tafte and fentiment, purfuing one objeft, and avoid*- 
ing another, according to the value which thefe 
objeds feem to poffcfs, or the light in which they 
prefent themfelves ; and, fecondly, as a reafonable 
rather than an aftive being. The (irfl fpecies may 
be referred to ethics, and the laft to pure metaphy^ 
fics. In the fecond Seftion, he adopts his former 
theory of the origin of ideas, which we have al^ 
ready condemned ; and in the thirds he difcuiTes, 
with the aftonifhing brevity of a few lines, the im- 
portant fubje^t of the aflbciation of ideas. 



The title of the fourth and ' mofti mportant Setf-i 
tion feems to have been adopted at random *; fox' 
while it junplies doubts in general concerning ail the 
operations of the human mind, it in reality advances 
a difficulty as to one operation only, or rather ex* 
plains it in a manner different from the generally 
received mode. He commences with obferving^ 
that the objeds of human reafon or inquiry may 
naturally be divided into two kinds, relations of 
ideaiy and matters of faSs. To the firft, he refers 
the fciences of geometry, algebra, and arithmetic. 
Our reafoning concerning matters of fa£l, he founds 
on the relation of caufe and effed ; and he affirms, 
as a general propofition admitting of no exception, 
that the knowledge of this relation is not, in any 
inflance, attained by reafoning a priori^ but arifes 
entirely from experience, in finding that particular 
objeds are conflantly conjoined with each other. 

He next inveftigates the queftion, what is the 
foundation of all conclufions from experience? 
and he maintains, that even after we have experi<> 
ence of the operations of caufe and efieft, our con^ 
clufions from that experience are not founded on 
reafoning, or any procefs of the uuder(landing« 
In illuflration of this, he obferves : — ^^ The br^d 
which I formerly eat nourifhed me j that is, a body 
of fuch fenfible quaUties was, at that time, endued 
with fuch fecret powers : but does it follow, that 


* Is not the tautological phrafe» << fccptical doubts^'' uii« 
warrantable ? « 

3 Other 


Other bread mud alfo nourilh me at another time, 
and that like fenfible qualities mull always be at- 
tended with like fecret powers? The confequence 
feems nowife neceffary.** — " Thefe two propofitions 
are far from being the iame, — I have found tbaifuch 
an objecl has always been attended with fucb an ef^ 
fe£lj—^nd I forefee^ that other objeds which arCj in 
appearance^ fimilar^ will be attended with Jimilar ef* 
feds J"* And he a(ks, " may I not clearly and dif- 
tindly conceive, that a body, falling from the 
clouds, and which in all other refpeds refembles 
fnow, has yet the tafte of fait or feeling of fire ?'* 

Thefe difficulties, which feem to have puzzled 
Mr. Hume fo much, may be eafily removed. Such 
is the frame of the human mind, that if it once ac- 
quire a knowledge of an objeft by experience, it 
is drawn by an iirefiftible infer, that the 
fame qualities mud refide in, and the fame confe- 
quences follow from, objects in all refpeds fimilan 
This is, in fad, the principle which obliges a man to 
aifent to the axioms in mathematics. He may have 
experience of one cafe only in which equals being 
added to equals, the wholes are equal; yet he is 
forced to acknowledge it to be a general law. In 
like maimer, if he has once attained a knowledge 
of the qualities of fnow, it is not in his power to 
conceive, that a fubflance, poffeffing all thefe qua- 
lities, could have the tafte of fait or feeling of fire. 
That the bread which nourifhed him to-day will nou- 
rilh him to-morrow, is an inference he cannot re- 
jed. If the organs of digeftion, however, poffefs 



not the fame tone, and the bread of this ^day hu 
not exafiiy the qualities of that of yefterday, it ia 
obvious that circumftances are altered^ and the 
mind does not authorize a fimilar inference. In 
fine, if he chufcs to content himfelf with fuperfi- 
cial refemblances and loofe analogies, he proceeds 
incorredly, and is not qualified to argue on the 
operations of the human underftanding. 

But, fays Mr. Hume, ** is there any more intel- 
ligible propofitidn than to aiErm, that all the trees 
will ilouriih in December and January, and decay 
in May and June? Now whatever is intelligible, 
and can be diftin£Uy conceived, implies no contra* 
diftlon, and can never be proved falfe by any de- 
monftrsitive argument or abftraft reafoning a pri-> 
<jr/."— -Docs our author mean to affert, that we are. 
unablc a priori to prove the impoffible exiftence rf 
the chimerical reprefentations of a lively fancy? 
Does he mean to aflert, that whatever we can con* 
ceive may be true? A vigorous imagination caa 
pifture the city of London raifed in the atmofphere, 
and the houfes dancing a cotillon, while the affright- 
ed inhabitants view the exhibition from their win- 
dows. All this is intelligible, and can be diftindly 
conceived ; yet all this is contradictory to the laws 
of nature, and can be eafily proved a priori to be 
phyfically impoflible. It is an affirmation perfeftly 
intelligible, that all the trees will flourifhinDecember 
and January, and decay in May and June ; but it k 
equally certain, that fuch an^ffled can bedemonftrBt- 
ed to be impoffible^ becaufe it is contrary to the hnm 


and jirmciples of vegetation. Now, the laws of na« 
ture> and the laws and principles of vegetation, are 
difcovered and confirmed by experience and rea« 

The Sceptical Solution of thefe Doubts^ in Se^on 
V. is by afcribing our belief in the connexion of 
caufe and effedt to cti/iGm or habit ; and aflerting 
that all our inferences from experience are the ef- 
fe£b of cuftom, and not of reafoning. We have 
already expofed the gipundlefsnels of thefe opinions; 
yet we agree with Mr. Hume, that cuftom is the 
great guide of human life. When bread, fimilar to 
that which nouriihed a man yeflerday, is again laid 
before him, he is not fcrupuloufly nice in afcertain- 
ing the fimilarity of its qualities; but he fuppofes 
this to be the hSt^ and eats the bread in the belief 
of receiving fimilar nourifhment from it. This 
loofe mode of inference, denominated cuftom^ is, 
however, very different from the more rigid and 
corred operations of the underftanding, though it 
ferves fufficiently for all the ordinary purpofes of 

Mr. Hume's hypothefis refpe£Ung caulation being 
thus unfound, all his arguments founded on it in 
the three following felons, on Probabilityy on 
the Idea of necejfary Conneffionj and on Liberty and 
NeceJ/ity^ fall to.the ground ; foi^ what can be more 
erroneous than the tenets maintained in the follow^ 
ing paflage: "When," fays he, "we look about 
us towards external objeds, and confider the opera* 

Y tion 


tion of caufes, we are never able, in a fih^e ia^ 
fiance, to difcover any power Or neceflary oonneo 
don; any quality which binds the effeft to tbe 
caufe, and renders tlie one an infallible confequence 
of the other We only find, that the one doei 
actaally, in fa£t, follow the other. The impulfe of 
one billiard-ball b attended with motion in the ie- 
cond. This is the whole that appears to the MCf- 
ward fenfes. The mind feels no fentiment or m- 
ward impreilion from this fucceilion of objeds; 
confequcntly there is not, ii^ any iingle particular 
inftance of caufe and effe£l, any thing which can 
fugged the idea of power or neceflary connexion." 

If our author had confined faimfelf to aflerting^ 
that we do not know by intuition, that one billiard- 
bail will communicate part of the motion it has 
received to another at reft, we would have readily 
aifented to his opinion. All human knowledge is of 
human acquirement : it is the refult of experience 
and refieclion. When, therefore, man has jmm^ 
the fpirit of inquiry, and attained a kno^iriedge of 
the laws of nature, he can demonftrate, that die 
impulfe of one billiard-ball will infallibly give mo* 
tion to a fecond; and it is impoffible to fuggeft a 
cafe or operation of the mind, in which it feels 
more forcibly ^^ an inward impreifion from a fuc- 
cefTion of objeds, or one that gives rife to the idm. 
of power or neceiTary connection.'* In a padge 
formerly quoted, Mr. Hume aflfened, that, even 
after we have experience of the operations of caufe 
and effect, our condufions from that ezpetienoe 

Oi' DAVit) HUMBy ESQ. ^i^ 


aire Ptot founded on reafoning, or any procefs of th^ 
underftanding. £xa£lly the reverfe of this is the 
fa£L The fenfes, as the medium, by which we 
cpmmunicate materially with external objeds, are 
one fource of our knowledge, and experience is 
founded on them ; but the conclufions from that 
experience, or, in other words^ the immutable 
laws of matter organized or not organized, are 
founded on the cone&eH exertions of human 

- Failing over the very brief fe£tion on the Reafon 
of Animals^ we come next to that on Miracles ; 
but as it does not readUy admit of abridgment, we 
fhall content ourfelves with mentioning the refult of 
our author's refearcheB on the fubjed, from which 
the reader will be able to colled the bearing of his 
religbus creed. *^The pbin confequence,'' fays 
he, ^^ is (and it is a general maxim worthy of ou^r 
attention,) that no teftimony is fuffident to eftablUh 
a miracle, unlels the teftimony .be of fuch a kind, 
that its falfehood would be more miraculous than 
the fad which it endeavours tp eftablilh : spd evefi 
in that cafe there is a mutual deftrudion of az^gu- 
ments, and the fuperior only ^ves us an aflurance 
fuitable to that degree of force which remains after 
deduding the inferior/'— * And again, *'So that 
upon the whp)e we may candude, that the chriftiafi 
religioa not only was at firft attended with nuracles, 
.but even at jtbis day cannot b^ bfJiej^od by any rea* 
.fonable perfoo without qjysp JMsr^ reaibn is infufi)- 
dent to QQAvings us gi .iIjb VjegjiKOt^.: ^and whoever is 

Y 2 move4 


moved hy faith to aflent to h, is confcious of acoil« 
tinued miracle in his own perfon, which fubvertsall 
the principles of his underftanding, and gives him a. 
determination to believe what is molt conttaiy to 
cuftom and experience/' 

The eleventh fedion is a kind of rambling eflajr^ 
by way of dialogue, on a particular Providence mid 
a future State ; in which his ftiend, in the charader 
of Epicurus, makes an oration to the AtheniaiiS) 
tending to deny both. It proceeds on, or rather is 
an argument in favour of, the principle, that we 
are not authorized to afcribe to a caufe any qualitiof 
but what are exa£Uy fuffident to produce the effeft ; 
and where a caufe is known only by its particular 
efiPefls, it is impoflible to idFer any new effeds from 
that caufe, *' Allowing therefore,*' fays Epicurua^ 
** the gods to be the authors of the exiftence or orw 
der of the univerfe, it follows, that they pofleft 
that precife degree of power, intelligence, and !». 
nevolence, which appears in their workmanihip; 
but nothing farther can ever be proved, except we 
call in the afliftance of exaggeration and flattery to 
fupply the defeds of argument and reafoning. So 
far as the traces of any attributes at prefent appear^ 
fo far may we conclude thefe attributes to exifL 
The fuppoHtion of farther attributes is mere hypcv 
thefis, much' more the fuppofition, that, in diifautt 
regions of fpace or periods of time, there has beeo^ 
or will be, a more magnificent difplay of thefe at- 
tributes, and a fcheme of adminillration more fuit* 
able to fuch ioM|iaary virtues. We can never be 


•F DAVID HtJIlE, S8Q. ^%$ 

allowed to mount up from the univerfe) the effed, 
to Jupiter the caufe ; and then defcend downwards^ 
to infer any new effeft from that caufe, as if the 
prefent eflfe&s alone were not entirely worthy of the 
glorious attributes which we afcribe to that deity. 
The knowledge of the caufe being derived folely 
from the effe&9 they muft be exadly adjufted to 
each other ; and the one can never refer to any 
thing farther^ or be the foundation of any new in« 
ference and conclufion/' The eflay is ingenious 
and argumentative ; but as it does not enter on the 
difficult topic of the deity's moral government of 
the worlds it only glances flightly at its proper ob» 
jedtsy and is very hx frx)m being conclufive. 

As Mr. Hume has concentrated the feqond* vo- 
lume of his Treatife into a Difiertation on the Paf- 
(ions, which occupies only thirty pages of his En- 
quiry, and is compofed merely of ibort and fugi« 
live notes preparatory to a nK>re regular and pro- 
longed inveftigation of the fubjed, it would be a 
wafte of time to review them* 

After the preceding oblervations, the metaphy- 
fical chara£ker of our author may be comprifed in 
few words. His Enquiry is not a complete fyftem : 
its ftyle does not poflels the eafe and perfpicuity of 
that of Dr. Reid, and ftiU lels of that of Fh>feflbr 
Stewart, and is, in fa^ not always adapted to 
abftrad reafoning. The leading arguments are e£> 
fent^Uy wrong, and the conclufions muft confe- 
quently be Uie iame : yet his writings may be ufe- 

Y3 ' «ul, 


fill, for truth is often elicited and eftablifhed hj 
the colliflon of opinion and the boldnefs of difqui- 

■ a. In his Enquiry concerning the Principles of Mo* 
rils^ Mr. Hume treats on the following fubjeds : 

Section I. Of the General Principles of Morals. 

II. Of Benevolence. 

III. Of Juftice. 

IV. Of Political Society. 
V. Why Utility pleafes. 

VI. Of Qualities ufeful to Ourfelves. 
VII. Of Qualities immediately agreeable to 

VIII. Of Qualities immediately agreeable to 
IX. Conclufioxu 


L Concerning moral Sentiment. 
I II. Of Self-love. 

III. Some farther Confiderations with regard 

to Juftice. 

IV. Of fome verbal Difputes. 

A Dialogue. 


In examining the general princ^les of mor&ls^ 
the firft objeft of his refearches is; whether di^ire 
derived from reafon or froth fentiment ^ and Re u 
incHned to believe, that both concur in ^bft iaO 
' 2 monU 


moral determinadons and conclufions. He then 
proceeds ^^ to analyze that complication of mental 
qualities, which form what, in common life, we call 
perfonal merit ;" and he begins with the confidera- 
tion of benevolence and jujhice. His general infer- 
ence is, that the uitlity refulting from the fodal vir- 
tues forms, at lead, a part, or rather the whole, of 
their merit, and is the fource of that approbation 
and regard fo univerfally paid to them, ^y Who 
fees not, for inftance," fays he, ** that- whatever is 
produced or improved by a man's art or induftry 
ought for ever to be fecured to him, in order to 
give encouragement to fuch ufeful habits and ac- 
complifhments 7 That the property ought alfo to 
defcend to children and relations, for the fame ufe^ 
ful purpofe ? That it may be alienated by confent, 
m order to beget that commerce and intercourfe 
vhich is fo beneficial to human fociety ? And that 
all contra£ts and promifes ought carefully to be ful- 
filled, in order to fecure mutual trull and confi- 
dence, by which the general intereji of mankind is 
fo much promoted/' And againr— *^ The neceflity 
of juftice to the fupport of fociety is xhefole found- 
ation of that virtue ; and fmce no moral excellence 
is more highly efteemed, we may conclude, that 
this drcumftance of ufefulnels has, in general, the 
ftrongeft enei^, and moft entire command over 
our fentimentn. It muft, therefore, be the fource 
of a confiderable part of the n^erit afcribed to hu- 
manity, benevolence, friendihip, public fpirit, and 
other focial virtues of that ftamp ; as it is the fole 
iburce of the moral apprabotipii pud to fideUty, 

Yi jufUce, 


juftice, veracity^ integrity, and thofe other eftimau 
ble and ufeful qualities and principles.'* 

To adopt mere ufefulnefs as the bafis of virtue ii 
certainly taking a very narrow and fuperfidal view 
of the principles of moraliiy. To refute, however, 
this Machiavelian dodrine would require greater 
length of difcuilion than can be admitted in this 
work. There is nothing too vicious to be de* 
fended on the broad plea of utility; and Mn Hume 
himfelf, in the following paflage, is drawn by it to 
fupport illiberality and oppreflion. " Were there,'* 
fays he, '^ a fpecies of creatures, intermingled with 
men, which, though rational, were poflefled^f fucb 
inferior flrength, both of body and mind, that they 
were incapable of all refiftance, and could never^ 
upon the higheft provocation, make us feel the ef- 
fe£ts of their refentment; the neceflary confe- 
quence, I think, is, that we fhould be bound, bj 
the laws of humanity, to give gentle ufage to thefe 
creatures, but Jhouid not^ properly fpeaking, lie m$m 
der any reftraint of jujiice with regard to them^ twr 
could they pojfefs any right or property exclufive rf 
fuch arbitrary lords.** And again—" In many na^ 
tions, the female fex are reduced to like flavery^ 
and are rendered incapable of all property, in oi^x>* 
fition to tluir lordly mailers. But though the 
males, when united, have, in all countries, bodily 
force fufEcient to maintain this fevere tyranny ; yet 
fuch are the infinuation, addrefs, and charms of 
their fair ccmpaiiions, that women are commonly 
able to break the confederacy, aod ih^re with the 



wher fex all the rights and privileges of fodety." 
Thus what is ufually afcribed to the determinations 
of the moral fenfe, is here attributed by Mr. 
Hume to female blandifhment and fexual incU- 

In this performance, which was our author's fa* 
vourite produdion, his ftyle and manner are more 
agreeable than in his Enquiry into the Human Un<r 
derftanding ; and as it brings, to ufe an expreffion 
of Lord Bacon, matters home to men's bufinefe 
and bofoms, we feel a greater interefl; in his invefti- 
gations, which he has enlivened with hiftorical 
anecdotes. The fixth and feventh fe£Uons are, in 
fad, ledures on politeneis or the art of pleafing, 
and will not lofe by comparifon with Lord Chefter* 
field's celebrated Advice to his Son. But the fe» 
dudive pidure which Mr. Hume has given of his 
general principle of 0ility may be reverfed by an- 
other writer, and perverted to the worfl of pur* 

In his Natural Hi/lory of Religion^ our author en- 
deavours to prove, that polytheifm was the primary 
religion of mankind, and that the deities were not 
confidered as the creators of the world. He then 
notices the various forms of polytheifm ; enquires 
briefly into the origin of theifm ; and after tracing, 
what he flyles, the flux and reflux of both fyftems, 
draws a comparifon of them with regard to per/ecu- 
Hon and toleration^ courage and abafement^ reafon and 
idfurdity^ doubt and conviilm. Towards the end 



of the performance, he expoks/o/fie ipnpions concept 
lions of the divine nature in popular religions of boii 
kinds ^ and the bad influence rf popular religiws on 
morality. The general tendency of this treatife is 
favourable to deifm ; and the iame tenet is illuftratied 
and enforced at greater length in his pofthumous 
produdion, entitled, Dialogues on Natural Religion. 
It is iitipoflible to divine any reafonable motive for 
Mr. Hume*s adoption of the form of dialogue ia 
this laft work, unlefs it 3vas that he thought him- 
felf more at liberty to employ ix>ld expreffions, hj 
putting them in the mouth of a chara6ler whofe tr* 
guments he afieds to refute. Dialogue, indeed^ 
affords ample opportunity for digreflion, and Mr. 
Hume avails himfelf fo frequently of this, that he 
becomes infufferably redundant and tirefome. 

3. In confidering the charader of Mr. Hume as a 
writer on general policy ^ his effays may be divided 
into thofe on commercial fubje£ks, and thofe OQ 
conftitutional polity. • . 

I . On Commerce and Finance. 

1. Of Commerce. 

2. Of Refinement in the Arts. 

3. Of the Balance of Trade. 

4. Of the Jjaloufy of Trade, 

5. Of Money. 

6. Of Intereft. 

7. Of Taxes. 

8. Of PubUc Credit. 

A grett 


A great and prevalent defedk in Mr. Hume's 
mifcelianeous writings is, that he never attempts to 
treat his fubjed fyftematically ; and dfeCtdtory re- 
marks, however juft, are unfavourable to inftruc- 
tion. This imperfection is more fenfibly felt in the 
difcuflion of abftrufe and difficult topics, where both 
the underftanding and memory require, that we 
fhould proceed from felf-evident axioms to the 
eftablifhment of general principles or laws. To the 
complicated fubjeft of Commerce Mr. Hume de^ 
votes thirteen o£tavo pages; but as he does not 
profefs to give even the outline of a regular fyftem, 
it is inipof&ble to analyze it. 

In his effay on Refinement in the ArtSj he maxn4 
tains, — I. That the ages of refinement are both the 
happiefl and mod virtuous ; and 2. That whenever 
luxury ceafes to be innocent, it alfo ceafes to be 
beneficial ; and when carried a degree too far is a 
quality pernicious, though perhaps not the moft 
pernicious to fociety. This is a rambling produc* 
lion, but his arguments are generally correft. The 
effay on the Balance of Trade may be perufed with 
real advantage ; and the fliort piece on the Jealoufy 
of Trade J though it is confined to the very narrow 
compafs of four pages, derives its value from a juft 
reprobation of the illiberal principles of monopoly. 
In his concluding fentence, he fays, ** Not only as 
a man, but as a Britifh fubjed, I pray for the fiou* 
riihing commerce of Germany, Spain, Italy, and 
even France itfelf ; I am at leaft certain, that 
Great Britain, and all thde nations would .fiou- 



rifh more, did their fovereigns and minifters adopt 
fuch enlarged and benevolent fentiments towvds 
each other/* 

The bed account which can be giv^i of his Etbf 
on Money is, that its errors, by provoking inquuy^may 
call forth the more corred lucubrations of others^ 
He advances in it an objedion to banks and paper 
credit^ though not in the mod forcible manner. 
** That provifions and labour," fays he, " fliould 
become dear by the increafe of trade and money, is^ 
in many refpeds, an inconvenience ; but an inccm* 
venience that is unavoidable, and the cffe£k of pub* 
lie wealth and profperity; yet there appears no 
reafon for increafing that inconvenience, by a 
counterfeit money, which foreigners will not accept 
of in any payment, and which any great diforder 
in the (late will reduce to nothing/' Mr. HuDEie 
acquired afterwards more enlightened views on thii 
fubjed, and, in a fubfequent edition of his mifceU 
laneous trads, introduced into the ElTay on the 
Balance of Trade, more favourable fentiments oil 
the benefits arifing from paper currency. 

In his EfTay on Intereji^ Mr. Hume fets out with 
averments, the fallacy of which is fo obvious, that 
one is rather furprifed it fliould have efcaped him, 
4« Were,'* fays he, " all the gold in England an* 
nihilated at once, and one-and-twenty (hillings fqb* 
ftituted in the place of every guinea, would mone^T 
be more plentiful or intereft lower ? No, furely t 
we fliould only ufe filver inftead of gold/' That 


Of DAVID HUME, K8Q* 333 

hr he is corred, and the only confequences of fuch 
an annihilation and fubftitution would be the incon^ 
venience arifing from the bulkinefs of the (ilver, 
and the premium which gold imported would bear 
ih the market ; but he is peculiarly unfortunate in 
the extenfion of his conclufion. ** Were gold," 
continues he, ^* rendered a» common as filver, and 
filver as common as copper, would money be more 
plentiful or intereft lower ? We may afluredly give 
the fame anfwer," (that is, no, furely.) "Our 
(hillings would then be yellow, and our halfpence 
white ; and we (hould have no guineas. No other 
diiFerence would ever be obferved ; no alteration on 
commerce, manufadures, navigation, or intereft; 
unlefs we imagine that the colour of the metal is of 
any confequence." — If England were the only m<% 
habited country in the world, Mr* Hume's infer* 
ence would be juft; but while the precious metals 
are in high and univerfal requeft among foreign na^ 
tions, a fuperabundant quantity of them in this 
country muft ever have an eflential eSeGt on our in- 
ternal and external economy. It is a common prac- 
tice with writers on this fubjed to £arget, that the 
wealth of a nation, taken in the aggregate, is to be 
appreciated by the wants of its neighbours, and not 
by reference to the individuals of fuch nation among 

His EiTay on Taxesj whish is comprized in five 
pages, wiU not arreft the attention of the reader j 
but that on Pubfic Credit^ which is the iaft of this 
jbriesy pofleiles real merit. The fubjed is difcuifed 



at coafiderable length, and the traft may be fafeljr 
xecommended to the (ludy of the politidaii. Mr. 
JSume reprobates the modem policy of contrading 
debts and mortgaging the revenue ; and fpeaks £i^ 
vourably of the ancient pradicc of hoardiqg, though 
not on fuch a fcale as to produce any eflenttal iin- 
pediment to commerce. 

2. On Subjeds of Conftitutional PoKty. 

t. Of the Origin of Government. 

2. Of the Fird Principles of Government. 

3. Of the Origuul Contract. • 

4. Of Pailive Obedience. 

5. Of Civil Liberty. 

6. Of the Liberty of the Frefs. 

7. Of ibme remarkable Cuftoms. 

8. Of the Populoufnefs of Ancient Nations. 
9* Of the Independency of Parliament. 

1 o. Whether the Britiih Government inclines rooxje- 
to abfolute Monarchy^ or to a Republic* 

11. Of Parties in general. 

12. Of the Parties of Great Britain. 

13. Of the Coalition of Parties. 
lA. Of the Proteftant Succeflion. 
15. Of the Balance of Power. 

.16. Idea of a perfeA Commonwealth. 

The Origin of Gmernmeni^ a fubje£k on which 
Dr. Adam Fergufon has written an ocbvo yolpni^^ 
is difcufled by Mr. Hume infour pages ; and ihe 
purpofe of thefe is to cftabliih, that all men s^^feii- 


OF DAVID HUME, £fiQ. 335 

fible of the neceffity of juftice to maintain peace 
and •order, and of the neceility of peace and order 
for the maintenance of fociety. In his Eflay on 
the Ftrji Principles of Government j he endeavours to 
prove, that it \& founded on opinion only, which is 
of two kinds, the opinion of intereft, and the of^ 
nion of right. He likewife divides right into two 
kinds, right to power, and right to property ; and 
he maintains, that on the opinion of public intereft^ 
of' right to power, and of right to property, aU 
governments are founded, and all authority of the 
few over the many. 

In the EflTay on the Original Conirad^ he ob- 
ferves, that one party, by tracing up government 
to the Deity, endeavour to render it fo facred and 
inviolate, '^ that it muft be little lefs than iacrilege 
to touch or invade it in the fmalleft ariicle, how;* 
ever tyrannical it may become }'' while the other 
party, by founding government altogether on the 
con&nt of the people, fuppofe that there is a kind 
of original contract, by which fubjeds have tacitly 
referved the pQwer of refiiling their fovereign, 
whenever they find themfelves aggrieved by that 
authority, which they have, for certain purpofes, 
voluntarily intruded to him. Mr. Hume is a me- 
diator between the. two parties, and labours to con- 
vince them that both fyftems of fpeculative princi- 
ples are juft, though not in the fenfe intended by 
them } and that the pra&ical confequenccs derived 
from thefe fyftems may be prudent, though JU)t in 



the extremes to which each party, in oppofidoa 
to the other^ has commonly endeavoured to carry 

Our author, in his Eflfay on Civil Liberty^ cons* 
pares it with abfolute government, and (hews the 
fuperior advantages of the former. After alluding 
in his Effay on the Liberty of the Prefsj to the free- 
dom of political writers in this country in cenfuring 
the conduft of minifters, he inveftigates the que^ 
tion, how it happens that Great Britain alone en> 
joys this peculiar privilege ; and the reafon which 
he afligns for it is our mixed form of government. 
In the earlier editions of his trads, he difcuiTed, in 
this eflky, the additional queftion, '' Whether the 
unlimited exercife of the liberty of the preis be ad- 
vantageous or prejudicial to the public;'' and he 
decided, that it was not only advantageous, but ef* 
iential to the nature of our government. 

In his Eflay on Some Remarkable Cufiomsj he no- 
tices the three following anomalies, which have pre- 
vailed in countries profefling to be free: — i. The 
y^&^n 'rrapMoiAuvy or indidment of illegality at 
Athens, by which a man was tried and puniihed, in 
a common court of judicature, for any law which 
had paiTed upon his motion in the aflembly of the 
people, if that law appeared to the court to be im- 
juft, or prejudicial to the republic. 2. The camitia 
centurtata^ and cemitia tributa at Rome. And 3. 
The preffing of fcamen in England. 


Mn Hume, ki hi6 £% eh the Populouffiefs ^ 
Ancient NAtimu^ idquiteS, i . " WhetheF it h^ 
probable from what we know bf the (ituatidn of 
fociety in both periods, that antiqtiity muft have been 
more populous ?" And 2. " Whether in reality 
it was ib V* He concludes his itfveftigadon of the 
firft queftion with obferviog, that it feems impoffi« 
ble to afiigfi any juft reafon^ why the world fhbuld 
have been more populous in andent than in modenv 
times. liberty^ the equality of property among the 
andents, and the fmall eztMt of their dates, ^ere, 
indeed, circumftances favourable to the propagatibn 
of mankind ; but their wars were more bloody and 
dcftru£Hve, thdr governments more £a£Hous and 
unfettled, commerce and ma|iufa£hires more feeble 
and languiOiing, and the general police mbre lo6f<* 
and irregular. Thefe dii^vantages feeih to be a 
fuffideiit countert^alahce to the former advantages, 
and rather, £iys Mr. Hume^^ favour the oppofite' 
opinion to that which commonly prevails with re- 
gard to this fubjed. 

The diicufiioci of (he fecond queftion is priced 
by a vary juft obfervatioA as to the eafy corruption 
of numbers in ancient mfanufcripts ; and ^fter re* 
marking that few enumerations have been made 6f 
the iithabitahte of any ti^ of country by a Gr6^ 
<k Latin writer of good authority, fo as to afford 
m a large enotigh view for ^otnp^irifon, Mi^. Hume' 
ihe#s the rifieulou? exaggeratioxii of the num* 
^bers of pMple lit remote t^ by antient an*^ 
i^&t^i yet lie t€tiidttMs hs !nqA%tirithOcre veftftu'^ 

Z ing 

338 .J^I'£ AND WRITINOi 

ing to give a dedfire opinion on the fubjed, and 
contents himfelf with fuggefting doubts as to the 
accuracy of fome numerical fads related by the hif* 
torians of former days. 

This eflay, as we formerly mentioned, was at- 
tacked by Dr. Robert Wallace, in his Diffiatation 
on the Numbers of Mankind in Ancient and Mo- 
dem Times, in which he maintained the fuperior 
populoufnefs of antiquity. Several yean prior to 
the publication of the Dodor's performance, it was 
read to the Philofophical Society of Edinburgh ; but 
as that learned body had not determined when they 
were to give their Tranfadions to the world, he 
was advifed to embrace the opportunity of publifli- 
ing it on the appearance of our author's trad. The 
Diflertation was accordingly printed, with the addi- 
tion of an Appendix, containing fome farther obfer- 
vations corroborative of his former ojunions, nd 
remarks on Mr. Hume's Eilay. 

It may be fuppofed, that, in the inveftigation oi 
fuch a fubjed, the firft ftep was to eftabliih fome 
general rules to guide the writer in his refearches, 
and the fecond to apply thefe rules to fads. Mr. 
Hume, however, does not adopt this j^an, but, in- 
termingling the inquiry concerning caufes with tl^. 
refpeding fads, quotes a multitude of paffiiges from 
ancient writers^ and embelliihes them with a £ew 
fcattered obferv^ions. Dr. Wallace commences 
his Treatife with advancing an axiom, a ftrid adher* 
ence to which would have led him to a very diffier* 


OF DAVID HUME, £8g. 339 

ent conclufion. He maintains, that the number of 
inhabitants in every country is proportionate to the 
plenty of provifions it aflfords, as abundance will 
always encourage the generality of the people to 
marry. After laying down this principle, the Dodor 
had only to afcertain the fad of the fuperiority of 
the ancients in point of agricyltural produce, and 
We fhould then have felt lefs repugnance in giving 
credit to the extravagant relations of the Gredc and 
Roman writers as to the populoufnefsof former times* 
But, inftead of doing this, he gives us a profuiian 
of references to,and authorities from, Herodotus and 
others, to prove the vaft numbers of men in the 
armies of thofe days, and never fuggefts a doubt at 
to their authenticity* 

Of all ancient at^thorsDiodorusSiculus is acknow* 
ledged to be, next to Herodotus, the greateft dealer 
in the marvellous. Dr. Wallace, however, cites him 
with implicit credulity^ Ninus, he fays, led an ar« 
my into Badria, of 1,700,000 foot, and 210,000 
horie, and wanted only a few of 10,000 chariots. 
The king of Ba&riau met him with 400,000 men. 
Semiramis canied an army mto India of three mil- 
lions of foot, half a million of horfe, and 100,000 
chariots ; and to fupply the want of elephants, fhe 
caufed 1 00,000 men to ride on as many camels, 
dreflfed up in refemblance of elqphants. She like- 
wife canied along with her, on the backs of camels, 
2000 flups, fo framed that they could be taken 
down in different pieces, and joined together when 
ch^re wasx)ccafiQn to ufe them.; and notwithltand- 

Zt ing 


ing all this the Indian king muftered up a gre^ttef 

It was a faying of the celebrated admiral Colig- 
niy that the foundation of 'an army was laid .in the 
belly ; but the neceflity of providing a regular fup* 
ply of fubfiftence to thefe enormous aflemblages of 
human beings, feems never to have entered into the 
minds of Diodorus Siculus, and Dr. Wallace. 
We cannot, therefore, be furprifed at his opinion, 
that ancient wars were not nearly fo deftru£Uve as 
thofe in modem times, or that the decay of popu* 
tion^ in modem nations, is to be afcribed to the fbU 
lowing moral caufes. i • Diflference of religion, and 
religious inflitutions. 2. Different cuftoms with 
refpeft to fervants, and the maintenance of the poor. 
3. Different rules of fucceffion to eftates, and the 
right of primogeniture* 4. The little encourage^ 
ment given to marriage in modem times. 5. The 
great number of foldiers in .the ftanding armies o£ 
Europe. 6. Too extenfive trade. 7. Ntgleff rf 
jtgriculfure. 8. The different extent of andest 
and modem governments. 9. The ruin of the an*' 
cient ftates by the greater monarchies^ efpcdally bjr 
the Roman empire* 10. The lah of that uicieBt 
fimpticity which had long prevailed. 

From this account of Dr« Wallace's 'J^i&xti&m^ 
It will not appear to have been a very 
refutation of Mr. HumeV efiay; and tbs only 
rice he took of it was in a note,, which he mfimed 
in a fubfequent editiotty haf: whidi he aft ar w attd t 



thought proper to omit in the o£kavo editions, of his 
^ffays. The note was as follows : — " An ingenious 
author has honoured this difcourfe with an aiifwer 
full of politenefis, erudition, and good fenfe« So 
learned a refutation would have made the author 
fufped, that his reafonings were entirely over« 
thrown, had he not ufed the precaution from the 
beginning to keep himfelf on the fceptical fide ; 
and having taken this advantage of the ground, he 
was enabled, though with much inferior force, to 
preferve himfelf from a total defeat* That reve^ 
rend gentleman will always find, where his antago* 
nift is fo entrenched, that it will be very difficult to 
force him. Varro, in fuch a fituation could defend 
himfelf againft Hannibal, Phamaces againft Caefar* 
The author, however, very willingly acknowledges, 
that his antagonift has deteded many miftakes both 
in his authorities and reafonings ^ and it was owing 
intirely to that gentleman's indulgence, that many 
more errors were not remarked. In this edition, 
advantage has been taken of his learned animad* 
verfions, and the efllay has been rendered Ids imper* 
feft than formerly." 

We may pals over unnoticed Mr. Hume's four 
pages on the hidependencj of ParUament^ In the 
EfTay on the queftion. Whether the Britijh Govern^ 
mint incHms more to abfolnte Mmarchy than to a Re^ 
public f be decides that the former is the eafieft 
deadi, the true euthanafia of the Britifh conftitu- 
tjon. Mr. Hume, in his ei&y on Parties in gene^ 
ral^ divides fa^ons into perfonal and real, that is, 

Z 3 into 


into fadions founded on perfonal friendfhip or ani-^ 
mofity among fuch as compofe the contending par« 
ties, and into thofe founded on fome real difference 
of fentiment or intereft. Real fadions he agaiit 
divides into fadions from intereft, from principle, 
and from affedHon. In applying thefe diftinfdons 
to the Parties in Great Britain^ he obferves, that 
parties of principle are involved in the very nature 
of our conftitution, and may properly enough be 
denominated thofe of court and of country, though 
the ftrength and violence of each will much depend 
upon the particular adminiftration, or perfons hold- 
ing the firft offices of ftate. •* Thus,** adds he, 
^ court and country, which are the genuine off*, 
fpring of the Britifh government, are a kind of 
mixed parties, and are influenced both by principle 
and by intereft. The heads of the factions are 
commonly moft governed by the latter motive ; the 
inferior members of them by the former/* 

As Mr. Hume devotes only about^v^ p^s^ on 
an average, to each of thefe eflays, although the 
fubjeds of them have, in the hands of other 
writers, given rife to volumes ; and as there is not 
any thing remarkable in his manner or his argu« 
ments> we have cemfined ourfelves to a very fuper* 
ficial notice of their contents. The remaining pa^ 
pers poflefs little novelty ; but irom this gjenml 
character, his Eflay, intitled. An Idea of a ferfeS 
Commonwealth^ mud be excepted. Plato has given 
to the world his Republic, Sir Thomas More his 
Utopia^ and Harrington his Oceana; and Mr. 

OF DAVID HUME, £8Q. 34| 

Hume felt an ambition to emulate the reputation of 
thefe celebrated writers, by ei^erdfrng his poli« 
tical acumen in the conftrufUon of a republican 
conftitution. The outline of his plan is as follows : 

Let a country be divided into i oo counties, and 
each county into i oo parifhes, making in all 1 0,000 
parifhes« All the freeholders of twenty pounds 
a-year in the county, and all the houfeholders worth 
five hundred pounds in the town pariflies, are to 
meet annually to eled a county reprefentative, after 
which the 1 go county members choofe from their 
own body ten county magiftrates and one fenator ; 
fo that, in the whole commonwealth, fays Mr. 
Hume, there will be 100 fenators, 1100 county 
magiftrates, and 10,000 county reprefentatives. 
llie fenate is to poflefs the whole executive power 
of the (late, the right of making peace or war, 
and, in fine, all the prerogatives of a Britifh king, 
except his negative. The county reprefentatives are 
to aifemble in theilr refpe£Hve counties, and to en- 
joy the whole legiilative power j but every new law 
is to be firft debated in the fenate, and if pafled by 
them, or if rejected, and ten fenators protefl 
againft its rejeftion, it is to be fent to the aflemblics 
of county reprefentatives. As, however, it would 
be a hardihip to aflemble thefe provincial legiflators 
for every trivial law which might be neceflary, the 
fenate is to have the option of fending any pro- 
pofed law tb the county magiftrates, or county 
reprefentatives; and the magiftrates, though the 
bil] be referred to them, may, if they pleafe, call 

Z 4 ^bQ 

344 L^^^ ^'^^ WRITINGS 

the reprefentatives, and fubmit the affair to their de- 
termination : and alfo, if five county reprefentatives 
order the magiftrates to afTemble the whole court of 
reprefentatives to decide on the matter^ they niuft 
. obey. Thefe complex arrangements are intended to 
prevent the dangerpi^s ^bufe of, what has been 
ilyled, the right of the initiation of laws, when it is 
confined to one body ) a point which Hanington 
has, perhaps, too much overlooked. 

After the annual eledion of fenators, the new 
members are to be fhut up in a conclave li)^ the 
cardinals, and to eled, frqm their own body, a pro* 
tedor,who is to reprefent the dignity of the comqion«> 
wealth, and prefide ip the fenate ; — ^two fecret^o^ 
of flate, and fix councils, viz. a council of ftate,^ 
of religion and learning, of trade, of law^, of war, 
and of the admiralty, with feven commiflipners ojF 
the treafury. Befides thefe councils or courts^ 
there is to be another called the court of comfeiitojrs^ 
which is thus conftituted. If any candidate fof the 
office of fenator have more votes than a third of the 
reprefentatives, that candidate, who has n^oft votes 
next to the fenator elefled, becomes incapsible for 
one year of all public offices, even af hei];\g a ma- 
giftrate or reprefentative ; but he takes hi$ (ig»t in 
the court of competitors. Here then, lays Mr. 
Hume, is a court, which may fometimea confift of 
a hundred members, fometimes have no members^ 
at all, and by that means be for a year abolifhed. 
This court is to have no power ii\ the common- 
yealthj except the uafpe£tion of public accountSg^ 



and the accufation of any perfon before the fcnate. 
If the fenate acquit him, the court of competitors 
may, if they pleafe, appeal to the people, that is, 
to the magiftrates or reprefentatives, who are to 
choofe three for each county, and bring the perfon 
accufed to a new triaU The court of competitors 
may alfo propofe any law to the fenate ; and if re^ 
fufed, may appeal to the people, that is, to the 
magiftrates or reprefentatives, who examine -it ixx 
their counties. 

Another Angular inftitudon propofed by Mr* 
Hume, is, that the proteftor, the two fecretaries^ 
and the five members of the council of ftate, with 
any five or more perfons appointed by the fenate, 
(hall poflefs, on extraordinary emergencies, didat^ 
rial power for fix months. 

Such are the prominent features of the form of 
government, which Mr. Hume has propofed as a 
model of perfedion ; and the concluding part of his 
Effay is employed in defending them by feveral in- 
genious political aphorifms. He does not betray 
any fufpicion of the confufion, which muft arifc 
from a legiflative body fitting at the fame time, and 
on the fame fubjed, in each of the hundred coun- 
ties ; or of the turbulence to which a community 
muft be expofed from 10,000 legiflators, whofe 
paflions are kept perpetually afloat on a£b of legif- 
lation. It was the moft enagaging charaderiftic of 
the laft republican conftitution of France, now 
erased from her archives by the bold ambition and 
6 violence 


violence of Bonaparte, that, while it left free the 
eledtive franchifes of the people, it confined to a 
manageable and moderate number the right of le- 
giilation; and by dividing that number into two 
houfes, provided a check to precipitancy and fac- 
tion* But in times of anarchy, when all the ties of 
focial order are diflblved, no conflitution, however, 
perfeft, can withftand the outrages of unprincipled 

4* From this brief review of Mr. Hume's meta* 
phyfical, moral, and political writings, we may 
venture to aflert, that the two volumes of his mif- 
cellaneous works would have been confined to the 
clofet of the philofopher, if his hiftorical reputap 
tion had not refled on a more folid bafis, and re- 
flefted luflre on his other produSions. As his 
Hijlory of England is fo univerfally known, and has 
been fo frequently commented on, we may difpenfe 
here with an extenfive criticifm. The firfl zxii, 
greatefl: duty of him, who records the tranfadions 
of nations, is to be accurate and impartial. We 
owe it to our nature, that particular modes • of 
thinking give a bias to the judgment ; and that the 
fame fafts, conten^lated through a different me- 
dium, vary the opinions of mankind. Coincidence 
of fentiments, in hiflorical matters, cannot be uni« 
verfah It was a fayitig of D' Alembert, the acade- 
mician, that truth was what could be demonflrated, 
and that mathematics only admitted of demon* 
flration. An appearance of candour, feconded 
by ingenuity of remark and elegance of ftyle^ will 


Of David hume, esq. 347 

ever impofe on the weak and the unwary ; contem- 
porary occurrences will receive the colouring of 
party; yet the ferther he irecedes from his own 
times, the pen of the hiftorian, it may be fup- 
pofed, is more likely to be guided by impartial- 
ity, as the motives for gaining profelytes to a 
creed, or adherents to a fadion, have ceafed to 
influence. Still, however, a diverfity of opinion 
will prevail, and even at this moment it remains un- 
decided, whether Caefar is to be honoured as a pa« 
triot, or branded as a parricide. 

Many charges of partiality have been advanced 
againft our author ; and were we to enter into a 
minute invefligation of thefe, we (hould be be- 
trayed into an inquiry, which might extend to vo« 
lumes. But vague accufations, unfupported by evi- 
dence, cannot ferve the purpofe of truth and libe- 
ral criticifm ; and, in the prefent cafe, may be 
juftly configned to oblivion. Hume could have no 
itiodve to pervert fads; on the contrary, he mufl: 
have felt every inducement to fidelity : the reputa- 
tation of his work depended on its corre&nefs, and 
he cannot be accufed of want of induftry. In fine, 
we every where recognize an indefatigable perfever- 
ance in refearch, a manly independence of thinkings 
anda happy talent in the difcrimination of charaflen 

The parages in his Hiftory, which have given 
moft oflFence, and exerdfed the pens of controverfial 
writers, are thofe refpeding Mary Queen of Scotland 
and King Charles I. Among the modem believers 
in the innocence of Mary are the names of Goodall, 



Tytler, Stewart, and Whitaker. Dr. Robertfon, 
though inclined to view female frailties with the pa* 
ternal tendernefs of a clergyman, ingenuoufly ac- 
knowledges the guilt of the unfortunate queen, and 
may be faid to have cut off' her head with a clean 
fivord. Hume has done the. fame; and a living 
hiftorian, Mn Malcolih Laing, has, in our opinion, 
incontrovertibly proved her participation in the 
murder of Damley. Goodall's work preceded 
our author's by feveral years. Ty tier's narrative is 
a plain and candid defence of Mary againft Ro^ 
bertfon and Hume ; but the only notice which the 
latter condefcended to take of it was in a note to 
an edition of his Hiftory publifhed in 1770*. It ia, 
to be regretted, that the indecoroys language of 
this note has expofed him to retaliation from 
bis antagonifts, who allege that he himfdf could 
occafionally refort to '' the illiberal petulance, ar- 
rogance, and fcurrility of the Warburtonian fchooh" 
—terms which he has applied to Dr. Hurd's pamph-* 
let on the Natural Hiftory of Religion. It is al- 
lowable, and even commendable, to be refolute ia 
opinion ; but it is alfo the part of a generous mind 
to controvert with dignified mildnefs, and in the 
polite language becoming a man of letters.' 

Mr. Tytler anfwered this note by a poftfcript to 
the third edition of his Defence, publifhed in 1771 ; 
in which he accufes Mr. Hume of employing terms 
v^ry incontiftent with that treatment, which OM 
gentleman is intitled to exped from another } and 

• Note N p, 505) vol. 5^ Bcnflcy'i edition. In iotoIi. Sm, 


, OP DAVID' HtTMl?, f Sg. 34§ 

after an ample inveftigation of the charge brought 
againft him by our author, he concludes with ob- 
ferving, that he does not aflume the high tone either 
of hiftorian or philofopher : "All the inquirer pre- 
tends to/* fays he, *^ is that of a reader who may 
and will think for himfelf. He wrote neither for 
money nor for applaufe. If the hiftorian fhall point 
out to him any one circumftance in which he is 
wrong, either in fad or in argument, he will, with 
great franknefs, retraft and acknowledge his error: 
but as he is a free fubjeft, no man^s heir orjlave^ 
Mr, Hume will find it not fo eafy a matter to con- 
vince him in any other way." 

In 1782, Gilbert Stewart publiflied his Uiflory 
of Scotland^ from the Reformation to the Death of 
Queen Mary^ in 2 vols, 4to. a fecond edition of 
which appeared in the following year. His ftyle is 
eafy and agreeable; and the narrative, although, as 
to fafts, it cannot ftand the teft of fevere inquifi- 
tion, never fails to make a powerful impreffion on 
the heart of the reader. This work was avowed 
by the author to be an anfwer to, %nd refutation of. 
Dr. Robertfon's Hiftory of Scotland. 

Mr. Whitaker, in his Vindication of Queen Mary^ 
a fecond edition of which was publiflied in 3 vols. 
8vo. ia 1790, has unfortunately given way to fuch 
iailies of rage, and rudenefs of language, that 
he has effentially injured the caufe, which he endea- 
vours to fupport* The whole of his performance 
is a tiflue of outrageous charges againft Hume and. 


Robertfon, whom he accuies of fuppreflmg and 
diftorting fads* Every document, which bean 
againfl him, he reje£b as a forgery, and difcbarges 
a volley of harfli epithets on the perfon who pro* 
duces or employs it. Dn Robertfon, it is Cud, 
publicly intimated his determination not to read Mr« 
Whitaker's work ; and this drcumftance was to the 
irritable author a new incentive to difpleafure* 
But the Do3or prudently maintained an inflexible 
filence : he beheld in his adverfary a man» armed 
with th^ club of Hercules, ftalking through the 
field of controverfy with fury in his eye, and m^ 
nacing with immediate defbruftion all who dared to 
cppofe him*. 

In point of (lyle, Mr. Hume's hiftorical produc* 
tion does not poffefs the eafe and polifli, which we 
remark in the compofitions of Robertfon and Blair* 
His language is often incorre&, and not unfrequent* 
ly ungrammatical ; the work, therefore, cannot be 
recommended as a model of elegant writing. ' Mr. 
Hume himfelf feems to have been aware of his im^ 
perfeftions in this refped, for the whole of the 
later portion of his life was devoted to the corre^oa 

* In 1787, MademoiTelle Dc Kcralio publUhed at Bvii» 
JKpotre (PErtzabcth Reine d^ Angkterre^ tiree dti icrUs mjgjuumx 
jfngloist iPaffety iiires, fettretf ct autret pieces manu/eriiee qm ^md 
pms encore pam : 5 tomM» 8to. This work I know oolyby tKe 
literary journals, and from fome paflkgrea of it iofertcd by Mr. 
Whitaker in a ootCy p. 3399 vol. 3. She it Tcry loud ia 
her accufations againfl Hume, Robertfon^ and Buchaaao» and 
openly and repeatedly charges them with the wiKul blfificatioa 
•f docomciitSy &c. 


09 DAVID HUM£, £SQ. 35 1 

6f . his Hiftory : and the following, taken from a 
thoufand inflances which might be given from the 
firft and laft editions of it, will evince how very de- 
fe£Uve he was in claflic compofition on his firfl ap- 
pearance as an hiftorian. 

Chap. I. of the 4/0. e£lum Chap. XLVth. of the pri'- 
of the Hl/lory of the Houfe of fent etKihmtm 

The crown of England was ^^franftekud from fiithcr to 
never transferred from fiither fon. 
to fon. 

It It ftrange, that, in the firft fcntence of hit Hiftory^ Mr. 
Hume ftiould have committed fo obviout an error. 

— Hey therefore, ifliied a --on pretence, 
proclamation » forbidding this 

great refort of bufineft, under 
pretext of the (cardty of pro* 
vifiont) and other inconveni- 
ences, which would neceiCirily 
attend it. 

He fliould have (aid» <' Under pretext, therefore, of the 
fcarcityi &c. he ifliied a prochunation,*' &c. 

Titles of all kinds became "-^fcareely marks of diftinc- 
h common, that they were m tion. 
lonj^er marks of diftindion. 

— his £ivour with the king —on the acceflion of that 
created great furprize on the monarch. 

Jirft aeeejfum of that monarch. 

—liberalities from the prince — on his acceffioik 
on his firft accefSon, 




Befides mioiftcrs from Vc- 
nice, Denmark* the fmUHum^ 
Henry Frederick, of Nai^u, 
reprefented the States of the 
United Provinces, 

•«- th« ^akciiuitiet kenfjT 
lice, was annbaiXWdbr from the 
States of the United Provinces. 

When the dominions of the 
Houfe of Au Aria were devolv* 
edovi Philip II. 

Though the fcvcrities of 
Elizabeth towards the catho- 
h'cs had much weakened that 
party, whofc genius was averfe 
to the prevailing fpirit of the 

— devolved on. 

— whofe genias was oppo* 
fite to the prevailing fpirk of 
the nation. 

This fcntcnce cannot be quoted as a fpecimen of dalEcal 


The king, it muft be con- 
fofTcd, from the beginning, 

— from the beginning of 
the conferenoe» (hewed. 

This fentcnce is ill arranged : it ought to have flood tkni i 
** It muil be con fcffcd, that the king, from the beginning of the 
conference, (hewed, or, From the beginning of the conference, 
the king, it mud be confcfTed, (hewed. 

-*- the prad^ice of p<tnta«ii* -^ of puritans to form o^« 
cal clerg^L-men to fgrm lonelier tain affrmbkies. 
certain affembiics. 

-^ they difplayed' their pi- •-« they difjplayed dicn* acnl, 
ous zeal in prayeis and cxbor** and prayers and ezkortatioMi. 

tat ions. 

We do not fay (o ti^J^ay pn^i dtd 
Hume's alteration^ although univcrfally inferteA i 




editions, has probably been incorrectly printed, and inftcad of, 
and prayers f we (hould read in prayeru 

•— gave the prince an unli- — of modelling at pleafure 

xnited power of garhRng at the reprefentati?es of the na* 

pleafure the reprefentatives of tion. 
the nation. 

— the chancellor'B power — left, by thii tote, uoli- 
was dill left, by the vote, un- mited. 


It flioald be << left unliauted by this vote. 

New writs having been if- — - when there waa • 
fued by the chanceUor, where 
there was no vacancy. 

— incapable of a (eat in the -—of enjoying a feat in the 
houfe. houfe.'^ 

— debts to have been con* •— bf furetifliip. 
traded ybr furetiflup. 

•- he iifued a proclamation,'^ 

— make a remonftrance, 

-«^a letter to the fpeaker, 

* in which* 

— a meflage to the boufe, . 
where he told them. J 

*- not been room to believe. — letfon to bdiefe. 

— bring him(clf off with « — estriottc himldf . . . 

{dmc honour. 

At fiA 

354 ^^^^ ^^^ WRITINOft 

— ia fuch a manner that — (hewed their regaid. 
while they marked their regard 

for the king. 

— for ever fold to a little — facrlGced to. 
temporary advantage of the 


— reduced the whole iiland — one gOTemmeDt. 
under one empire. 

Chaf. II. Chaf. XLVI. 

We come now to rdate an We are now to relate an 
event, among the moil memo, event one of the moft memonM 
rablcy which hiliory has. b)e» 

Mary» who had facrificed Mary) wkofe life they be* 
her h'fe to their caufe, (viz. Heved to have been fkcrifial 
that of the Roman catholics.) to their caufe. 

'Tis pretended — His remark- <— It ia. 

For the Brft twenty years of his L'terary life, Mr. Hume «- 
variably employed this harfh word. 

— Whenever they inlifted a — When they inlifted any 
new confpirator, in order to new confpirator, in order to 
bind him to fecrecy, along bind bim to fecrecy» they aU 
with an oath, they always em- ways, together with an oat^ 
ployed the facrament, the molb employed the communion the 
facred rite of their religion. inoft ■ » 

If we adopt the fame words, the fentence (hould ran 
thus — " When they inlifted a new confpirator, they always, ui 
Order to bind him to fecrecy, emj^oyed, along wUh in onthi 
the lacramenti &ct 

Of DAVID HUME) £8Q. 355 

ilong with the guilty— — with the guiky— with • 

along with them, &c, them. 

— obflinate to their pur- ^> obftmate in. 

— dartled with hearing a — > ftartled at* 

-"Where Sir £. D. making —thinking himfelf aflured 

account that fucceft had at- that, 

—authority of the prcfent — > eftab1i(hcd church, 

—to haye pofTefTedi in forae — to have poflefled the af- 

degree, the afFedioni even of fediiona even of his Englifh 

his Englifh fubjedb, and, Tn a fubjedSf and, in a tolerable de« 

pretty high degree, their ef- gree, their efteem and regard- 
teem and regard. 


'^Scotcbt which he. ufcd indifcriminately for the fubftantive 
Scats, and the adjediive Scottifh, is difcarded. 

— one of the greateft ge« — in Eurc^. 
niufes of Europe. 

— that thefe popular affem- — wcrt rather inftitoted to 
bliet (parliaments) are rather a£Bft« 

ordained to aifift with money 
and advice* 

— efteemed him partial to- — deemed him, deemed it 
wards their adverfary, efteem« reafonable. 

cd it reafonable. 

—the new feffion (viz. of — WM held thil fprlng. 
parliament) wu calkd this 



— (he (Elizabeth) had very — had alienated many of. 
much difljpiiLcd the crown 

*- fo foon as the commonst 

— altered all the cuftonris. 

— the commons (hould de- 
termine the funds from which 
this fum fhould be levied. 

•* as foon as. 

— the rates of the cuftoois* 

— by which. 

This alteration is unfortunate^ and the original text is alfb 


^» We mud take a furvcy 
of him (James} as the legifla- 
tor of Ireland. 

— all tyranny and oppref- 
iion of the people. 

— the whole province of 
Ulftcr having fallen to the 

f— a view of him. 

•^ over the common i>coj^. 

«* into ih€ crown* 

'* Fallen into the crown,*' is not fo warrantable t phrafe 
** fallen to the crown.'* 

Chap. III. 

• —by marking a. preference 
for the £ngli(h« 

— too diabolical to have 
been derived from other than 
an infernal demon* 

Chaf. XLVU, 

— by (hewing« 

— firom any but as* 


• f 



— Jamti dropped the ad, — bill* 


— an aflembly was fummon- — fummoned to meet on. 
ed on the 25th of November. 

— were debarred from fuch 

-' debarred fuch fporti. 

Mr. Hume commits an error in expunging from. 

— than they lofe their ere- — all credit over the pco- 
dit over the people* pie. 

We fay credk wiib the people. 

Chap. IV. 


— touched on. 

-(" into many grievancei, 
which, though of no great im- 
portance, could not be touch- 
ed without fenfibly affeding- 
the king. 

— • not to touch hit fon's — not to touch on his fon'i 

marriage. marriage. 

— on which he built the «— of obtaining his liberty, 
hopes of his liberty. 

— that he would turn the 
point of his fword againft 

-— turn his fword. 

— of that king or of any ^-oranyotherofhlsfriendi 
other his friends ^i coafede« and. 
lates, ' • 

- J 



— the 


— the King's letter to the — to iotlmidatc them. 
Speaker of the Houfe of Com- 
mons to terrify them. 

However moderate the ex - How moderate foever the-« 
erciTe of his prerogative, how- how exadl foever his. 
ever exa6i his obferrance of 
the laws. 

However it better than bowfcever ; and the difjan£UoD of 
how and foe'ur is improper. 

— 'tis requifite to watch — with the fame care, 5c<i. 
bim with rqual care, and to — with the fame vigour, 
oppofe him with equal vigour, 

as if he had. 

— the greater difiBculty they — in fixing. 

found of fixing juft fentimcnts • 

with regard to them* 

V^t hy forming fenilmenis* 

Chaf. V. Chap. XLIX. 

«— had they been managed — with ever fo. 
with never fo great dexte- 

— when Lord D his am* — was referred* 
baffador to the Emperor, had 
defircd a ccffation of hoililities, 
he was remitted to the Dokc 
of ^avaria. 

•» Tliree armies were levied •>» by hb aathorltj. 
ta Germany by bis commiOioat 


The third generaU though — but with no equal fup- 
much inferior in force to his pliei of money either, 
tnemiesy ftiU maintained the 
war ; but with no great fup- 
plies of money either from the 
Palatine or. 

Equal 18 here improperly ufed in the fenfe of adequate* 

The difpenfation of Rome — ^from Rome. 
wai requifite. 

Tlie loverg of civil h'berty — fo important an exercife 
were alarmed at fo large an ex- of prerogative, 
ercife of his prerogative. 

— That the event, however —how profperoui (bever. 

The expreffion in the firft edition wai correA. In the wordt , 
wbo/oeveTf whaifoever, howfoever, the pronoun or adverb can- 
not be properly dif united trom foewr* 

By the moft iludicd civili« — > (hewed the refped. 
ties, he marked the refpcd. 

— became defiroui of mark* — (hewmg a contempt, 
ing a contempt. 

— future councils and dcU* — > counfeb. 

The word council he always ufes for couafel. 

The benevolence, which had -^ fo popular an end, had 
been rigoroufly exaded for the procured the king lefs money, 
recovery of the Palatinate^ 
though levied for fo favoura- 
ble an end, had acquired tkc 

kai^ lift money. 

A a 4 -^which 


-» which had lain dormant — for near two oentnrick 
for a century hejore. 


— After Charles's depar- —he ftillyupon the firft ap- 
ture, upon the firfl appearance pearancc: of a change of rdbla- 
of a change of lefolution, he tion, intcrpofed. 

ftill interpofed. 

— to abilain from all at* — - in parliament, 
tendance on the parliament. 

— and that afpiring prince, — peace, had, on the expi* 
fenfible that hi» ciedit would ration of the Iwdre jeart 
languKh durir.;r peace, on the truce, renewed. 

expiration of the twelve years 
truce, had renewed the war* 

— - ambitious of diftingui(h« — fo popular a caufe. 
ing thc.j.fclves in fo tavourable 
a caufe. 

— by the ponfeflions of one «» poffeffions of that «mbt« 
or the other bi inch of that tious family. 

ambitious tamily. 

— to prepare his vaft enter- — to pave the way for hit 
prizcb by fubduing. enterprizes by. 

— agreed to fequeftrate it — fequeilrate it into the 
in the Infanta's hands as a hands of the Infanta as. 

neutral perion. 

This corredion if not fortunate: ** feqve/lraU it ntf9 the 
hands is incorre6i. 

— after the unexpeAed nip« — Spain, the Infantt^ whca 
ture wit it Spain, when James James —1 offered* 
demanded the executi\>i of the 

treaty^ the Infanta offaed him* 


CtfAP VI. App. to James I.*8 RErGK. 

All the catholicii too were — or fent abroad their cliild- 
liable to be piini{hed» if they rea* 
cxercifeJ-— or were any . 'ay 
adive in fending abroad their 

Reiterated proclamations he He alfo iflued reiterated pro* 
aUb iffued. claonations 

It was a common praftice of Mr« H. to place the word go- 
verned before the goTcming word. 

— expcniivc pleafures or -^ difiipate their foitttoe* 
employments which involve 

their iortune. 

— their lands, coming to — the eftatcs of thoft. 
(ale, fwelled the fortune of 


•—a fu£Sciciit reafon ap« -—partly for want of a rigid 
pearsy partly from neceflary ex- economy, 
penced, partly from want of 
economy, why the king. 

He ihould have retained /rom. 

— I comprehend not thofe -— I do not xndade. tho& 
fupplies which were given. fuppliei. 

f^wUfpercd foawwhat to •» ibmetlung to one. 

— each town paid a fum, — which the inhabitanti 

which they themielves affefled thenfelfea aifeflcd upon their 

upon the inhabitants. fello* citizeni. 




What is the difference between inhahUamtt tnAfdbw ckmms i 
he fliould have (aid — ** with which the inhabitanti aflcfled tbcou 

— or parcels were fold ofiF — or part of aacftilewat 
an eft ate. fold offl 

— horfei employcdy either 
for the plough, waggouy or 

— in the plough. 

— lamentations of the decay 
of trade. 

— concerning the doaj* 

Not only the peace, which •» he maintainedi was. 
he procured^ waa fayourable. 

— the fine Englifli cloth ) — might engage, 
that the king was obliged to 

feck expedients by which he 
might oUige the people of 
hdxlon to wear it. 

^— They were groundlefs — It was the grooadlcfii 
fears of a h'ke accident, that fears of. 
enflaved the nation. 

— and to facilitate the en* •» the admiflion of. 
trance of new adventurers. 

«— Men were then imprifon* 
ed by their own prejudices. 

— but by James's dire^ion, 
mujberry-trees were planted, 
and filk- worms introduced. 
The climate feems adverfe to 
the execution of this projeA, 

— fettered by. 

«*» (eems unfavourable to the 
fuccefs of this projeft. 




— the Eaft India company 
—and fet out federal (hips on 
thefc adventures. 

— fitted out. 

— ▼ffTcl of 1300 tUIK 

-— one fhip» full of riches, 
waa taken. 

— ton. (Should be in the 
plural: — he has always pound 
for pounds.) 

— one rich (hip was. 

It would be better to fay* onejblpt richly laJcm. 

Chap. I. Charles » 

Chap. L. 

i No fooner had Charles taken 
— than he marked an impa- 
tience to affemblc. 

— (hewed an impatience. 

This meafure, which marks «- difcorers rather. 
rather a cruel mockery of 

— while Prince of Wales, 
he had indebted himlielf to the 
amount of. 

— contraAed debts ta« 

— efcn oondefcended to en- 

— orderrd them (the Houfc 
of Commons} to fini(h the law, 

— - to ufe entreaties* 

— the bin iriiidi« 

— tonnage and potuldage. 
This article contained near a 
half of the crown revenues. 

— floafKtated near bdf oC 

{t ihi9uld bci nearfy car (or a) balf^. 



— and by law It wai aflert* -^ and it wai aflerted» t]ut» 
edy tills wai not fuificieot by law* this wai* 

— he was determined to en* — in a war with that king* 
gage England into a rupture dom. 
with that kingdom.' 

&c. &c. &c. 

Again— Chap. I. of Vol I. Chap. I. of Vol. I. prefieat 
4to. and of Vol. I. 8vo. or editions* 
fecond edition in 17679 (8 

— and that the adventures — to men bora* 
of barbarous nations, even if 
they were prcfcrvcd, could af- 
ford little or no entertainment 
to thofe bom. in a more culti- 
vated age. 

LiliU or nof is an inelegant exprel&on ; but he has retained it* 

«- and being ignorant of all «-* and aa they were igoo- 
the refinements of life, their rant, 
wants and their pofTeflions were 
equally fcanty 4nd limited. 

— whofe fole property was -* was their arms and cattle* 
their fword and their cattlcy it 

was impoflible, after they had 
acquired a relifh of liberty* 

Wc fiiythe reh'fh of a man/or a things 

— it was agitoted with emu- — agtUted with jealpufy.or . 
btion towards the neighbour* animofity. 

ingftatcs, ....... . . - -• 

or DAVID HUME) S8Q. 365 

— they (tte Druids) were — they enjoyed Mtk immu- 
cndowed with an immunity. nity* 

— thefc trcafurcs they pre- — theykept^-andthiifteady 
ferved — and this continued conqueft. 

conqucft over. 

— Without feeking anymore -^ by the late Europeans io 
judifiable reafnns of hoftiHty fubjugaiing. 
^han were employed by the 
latter Europeans in fubjugating 
the Africans and Americans. 

This corredlion is as faulty as the original error. 

— pierced into the country — (the fame.) 
of the Silures. 

He (hould have faid^ penetraieJ, 

— to defpife the menaces of •> 
a fuperftition they defpifed. 

Thefe and fimilar tautolo* 
> gies ought to have beta avoid* 

— by the terrors of their 
fuperftition* No fpecies of 
fuperfUtion* ' 

— the ScoU— tad firft been 
cftablifhed in Ireland, baJ mi- 


grated to the north-wed coafts 
of this iflandy and bad long 
been accufiomed. 

— pierced into the inaecef* «- (the fame.) 
fible forefts. 

We do not pierce mto a f orefi, and ftill leTs Into an Inaecejibk 
one : but we mvffetieiraie into fortftsi hitherto reckoned inac- 

-• reduced 


— » reduced every thing to — every date to fakjcfiioa. 


— and having fixed a train *- fixed a chain of ganrifoin* 
of garrifons-^he thereby cut 

vS the ruder and more barren 
parts of the iflandy and fecur- 
cd the Ronuio province from 
the inciir(ions of the barbarous 

I a 

Mr. Hume (hould have corre6led this pafiage (UD faithcrt 
and faid — ** he theieby feparatcd the Roman province from the 
nore barren parts of the iiland> and fecured it fromy" kc. 

— * taught them to defirc — (the fame.) 
and raife all the conveniencies 
of life. 

We may defire, but we never riufi the convenSnicics of 

— Caledonia alone^ defend- -«> (the fame.) 
ed by its barren mountains, and 

by the contempt which the 
Romans entertained for it, 
Ibmetimes infefted the more 
ciiltivaied parts. 

He (hould have faid—" The inhabitants of Caledonia," &e. 

— and dunng all the reigns — and during the reigns of 
<^ the Roman emperors. all the Roman emperors. 

— and the ancient point of — - honour^ never to cop* 
honour^ of never contrading traft* 

the limiu of the empirei could 
no longer. 

— The 


— The Pifts and Scots —their prey, 
now regarded the whole as 

their prize. 

Of the fourteen fucceeding fentenceSt eleven begin with 
«« The,'* 

— had not art of mafonry — (the fame.) 
fufficient to raife* 

It (hould have been — ** had not fu£Scient fldll in mafonry to 

— adminiftered juftice after -^ (the lame. ) 
an independent manner. 

We do not fay^ ** adminifter juftice i^iar a manner/' but , 
^ M a manner.'' 

— the people flying into the -— to the mountains and de* 
mountains and defcrts. ferts. 

^ and when mafters of it, —(the fame.) 
put all their enemies to the 

He means, ** put the garnfon and inhabitants to the fword :*', 
bit the expreffion he employ! is too indefinite. 

—This it that Arthur fo — (the lame.) 
much celebrated by the fongt 

TUr u tbait is a moft uncouth expreffion. It (hould have 
been« << This is the Arthur fo much celebrated/' or, ^' At» 
thur has been celebrated in the fongs." Htftor is celebrated 
ia the Iliad, but not ^ it, but by Homer. 




— to carry on their cod- 
quefts agaioil the Bricains. 

— over the Britooji. 

— advanced the Roman con- 
queds over the Britains. 

We make a conqueft o/'a place yrom a perfon. 

None of the northern con- — (the fame.) 
qnerors^ though they over- 
ran thefoutherii provinces Hke 
a mighty turrcnty m 'de fuch 
devaiiations in the coiiqucvcd 
territories, or were inllanacd 
into fo violent an animoficy. 

He (houl^ have faid — '* though, like a mighty torrent^ they 
over-ran,'' &c. We fay, '* inflamed wUh nige»" but ** not 

tBlo a rage." 

&c. &c. &c. 

We have noticed thefe defeds'in the ftyle and 
(tructure of his fentences, becaufe duty impofed 
on us the unpleafant talk, and not from a wifh to 
depreciate his labours, or fhade his reputation ;— - 
for notwithftanding all its blemifhes, the History 
OF England is a fource of ufeful information to 
the (latefman, a noble monument of its author's 
talents, and an invaluable bequeflt to his country. 



No. I. 
E 3 S A Y I. 


I HAVE always been of opinion^that the commqa 
complaints againft Ftovidence are iU-grounded^ and 
that the good or bad qualities of men are the caufes 
of their good or bad fortune more than what is 
generally imagined. There are, no doubt, in« 
fiances to the contrary, and thefe too pretty nu- 
merous ; but few in comparifon of the inflances wc 
have of a right diftribution of profperity and ad« 
veriity: nor, indeed, could it be otherwife from 
the common courfe of human affiadrs. To be en* 
dowed with a benevolent difpofition, and to love 
ethers, will almoft in&llibly procure love and e& 
teem, which is the chief circumftance in life, and 
facilitates every enterprize and undertaking ; be* 
fides the fatisfa3ion which immediately refults from 
it. The cafe is much the &me with the other vir« 
tues. Profperity is naturally, though not neceflk* 
lily attached to virtue and merit; and adverfity, in 
)ike nmnfx^ tQ vice and folly* 

Bt» Imuft, 


I muft) however, confels, that this rule admits 
of an exception with regard to one moral quality ; 
and that ymdejiy has a natural conceal 
a man's talent% as impudence difplays diem to the 
utmoft, and has been the only caufe why many 
have rifen in the world, under all the difadvantages 
of low birth and little^ merit. ^ Such indolence and 
incapacity is there in the geberality of mankind, 
that they are apt to receive a man for whatever he 
has a mind to put himfelf otf* tiit ; and admit his 
overbearing airs as proofe of that merit which he 
afliimes to hin^elf. A decent afHirance^feems to 
be the natural attendant on virtue, and few mei^ 
tsn diftinguifh impudence from it : as, on the other 
hand, diffidence, being the natural refult of vide 
and folly, has drawn difgrace upon inodefty, which 
in outward appearance fo nearly i^embles it. 

[I was lately lamenting to a friend of mine, iriio 
loves a conceit, that popular ap^laiife fhould be 
beftowed with fo little judgment, and that fo maaetf 
empty forward coxcombs (hould rife up to a fi^;ure 
m the world : upon which he laid there wasf lio^ 
thing furprifing in the cafe. Popular fame^ fays he. 
Is nothing but breath or air; and air very natitally 
prefles into a vacuum *.3 

As impudence, though really a vice, ha& iSbit 
7ame efiefls upon a man's fortune, as if it Were'k 

"^virtue j fo wc may obferve, that it is almoft asififli- 

* ... ■ . 

* This paragraphii not la'tbc tdStScm ^tfio. 

'- cult 

cult to be attained, and is, in that refped, (filtio- 
f[uiilied horn all the other vioea, wlUch are 9c« 
qntred with U^e pains, and continu^y {ncreal^ 
upon indulgence. Many a man, beiog f^blp 
that modefty ig extremely prejudicial to hioi ia 
making his fortune, has refdved to be ui^udent, 
and to put a bold face upon the niatter; but it Is 
obfervi^le, that fiich pec^le have feldom fvcceedefl 
in the attempt, but been obliged to relapfe 
into their primitive modefty. Nothing carries ja 
4nan through the woild like a true genuine ^latuxjil 
impudence. Its counterfeit is good for nothing, 
nor can erer fupport itielf. In any other attempt, 
whatever &ults a man commita and is fenfible of, 
he is fo much the nearer his end* But whea hp 
endeavours at impudence, if he ey£x failed in the 
attempt, the remembrance of that failure will make 
him Uuih, and will infallibly disconcert him ; after 
which every blvlh is a caitfe for new bluihes, till 
Jie be fcund.out to be an arrant che^tt, ^ a vain 
pretender to impudence. 

2f wy .tiling can j^ve a loodeft man more alTuiv 
amce, it muft be fome advantages of fbrtuAe, 
'Wbkk fiiw» prpcurea to him. Riches naturally 
>gain B^ man a favourable recepdon in the world, 
md give snerit a double luftre, when a pexlbn is 
endcmed ^wjlh it; and they fupply ita place, in a great 
iiDeafiire w:hen it is abfent. It jls wonderful to ob« 
:lewe^ what ,airs of fuperiority fools and knaves, 
with large poffieilions, give themfelyea above men 
lif t]ie.9Kiibil.nQn(iiipo?ei!ty. JDf 9r do the men 

Bb a of 



of merit make any (Irong oppofitioii to thefe nfitr* 
pations ; or rather feem to £ivour them by the mp* 
defty of their behaviour. Their good fenfe and 
experience make them diffident of their judgment, 
and caufe them to examine every thing with the 
greatefl: accuracy. As, on the other hand, the de- 
licacy of their fentiments makes them timorous left 
they commit faults, and lofe in the pradice of the 
world that integrity of virtue, fo to fpeak, of which 
they are fo jealous. To make wifdom agree with cour 
fidence,i8as difficult as to reconcile vice and modeAy. 

Thefe are the rciledions, which have occurred 
upon this fubjeS of impudence and modefty: and 
I hope the reader will not be difpleafed to fee them 
wrought into the following allegory* 

Jupiter, in the beginmng, joined Tirtue^ Wtfdm^ 
and Confidence together ; and Vke^ Folly and Dljfi^ 
dencei and thus conne&ed, fent them into the 
world. But though he thought that he had maich^ 
ed them with great judgment, and laid that CogC- 
dence was the natural companion of Virtue^ and 
that Vice deferved to be attended with DiffidiiM^ 
they had not gone far before diflention arofe among 
thenu Wi/domj who was the guide of the one 
company, was always accuftomed, before ihe ven- 
tured upon any road, however beaten, to examine 
it carehilly, to inquire whither it led, what dan* 
gers, difficulties, and hindrances might pofliblyar 
probably occur in it. In thefe deUberations file 
ufually confumed fome time; which delay wu ' 




very difpleafing to Confidence^ who was always in- 
clined to hurry on, without much forethought or 
deliberation, in the firft road he met. Wifdom and 
Virhie wtte infeparable: but Confidence one day,, 
following his impetuous nature, advanced a ranfi*. 
derable way before his guides and companions; 
and not feeling any want of their company, he 
never enquired after them, nor ever met with them 
more. In like manner, the other fociety, though 
joined by Jupiter, difagreed and feparated. As 
Folly faw very little way before her, ihe had no- 
thing to determine concerning the goodpefii qC 
roads, nor could give the preference to one above 
another; and this want of refolution was increafed 
by Diffidence J Who, with her doubts and fcniplet^ 
always retarded the journey. This was a great an- 
noyance to F/rr, who loved not to hear of difficul- 
ties and delays, and was never Satisfied without his 
full career, in whatever his inclinations led him to, 
Folly^ he knew, though Ike heaikened to Dijfi* 
denccy would be eafily managed when alone; and, 
therefore, as a vicious horie throws his rider, he 
openly beat away this coaticUer of ail his plea- 
fures, and proceeded in his journey with Folfy^ 
&om whom he is infeparable. Coe^dence and D^ 
fdence being, after this manner, both thrown loli^ 
^m their re^peSive companies, wandered for fooM 
timed till at laft chance led them at the fiune tim^ 
to oi^e village. Cot^dence went diredly up to the 
houfe, which belonged to Wealthy the lord 
pf the village ; and, without ftaying for a porter^ 
intruded himfdf immediately into the kmermoft 

9b 3 apartments^ 


374 ^1'^ ^^^ wuiTXNoi w 

a{>sirM(^(gnt8^ where he fbtind Vice and Rify wdl 
einved before him. He jomed die train } reccmi^ 
ihended himfelf very quiddy to his landlord ; and 
efttered into fuch famiUarity with VUe^ that he was 
inlifted in the fame company with FoHy. They 
were frequem guefts to Wealthy and from that mo» 
ment infefmrable. Diffidence^ in the meantime^ 
Aot daring to approach the great houfe, accepted of 
ah invitadon from Poverty^ one of the tenants } 
tad entering the cottage, found WiJ^^m and Virtue^, 
who being r^pdfed 1^ die landlord, had retired 
dather. Vittue took cotnpaffion of her, MnAWi/Ham 
found, fyora her temper, that (he woidd tifily im* 

cordingly, by theur bieans, (he ahered in a litde 
time foihewhat of ber manner, and becoming much 
m(^ amiable and engaging, was now known by die 
name of Mode/fy. As ill company has a greater ifSe^ 
than good. Confidence^ though more refradcoy ta 
counfel and example, degenerated fo far by the fe* 
dety of Vice and Fdlyy as to pafe by the name of 
Impudbncb. Mankind, who faw thefe fodedes As 
Jupiter firft joined di^m, and know nothing of 
Chefe iftutiial defertions, are thereby ted into ftrangt 
miftdceif ; and, wherever they fee lnij^udefie§j make 
account of finding Viriue and W^m i tod wher6. 
erer they obferve Modejtf^ call her attendants Vict 
and Folly, 



No. L 



1 KNOW not whence it proceeds, that women are 
fo apt to take amils every thing which is laid in dHl 
paragement of the married ftatt ; and always conii* 
der a ladre upon matrimony as a latire upon them- 
felves. Do they mean, tluit they are the parties 
principally concerned, and that if a backwardnefit 
to enter into that (late (hould prevail in the worlds 
they would be the greateft fuffer^? or, are thiey 
fenfible, that the misfortunes and mifcariiagea c^ 
the married ftate are owing more to their lex ibzn 
to ours ? I hope they do not intend to coflfels dther 
of thefe two particulars, or to give fuch an advaiu 
tage to their adverfaries the men, as even to allow 
them to fufped it. 

cc I have often had thoughts of complying with 
this humour of the fair fex, and of writing a pane* 
gyric upon marriage; but in looking around for 
materials they feemed to be of fo mixed a nature, 
that at the conclufion of my reflections, I found 
that I was as much difpofed to write a iatire, which 
might be placed on the oppoiite pages of the pane- 
gyric J and lam afraid, that as £tfire is, on mod oc« 

Bb 4 cafions. 

376 LlfE ANP WRITiNOS fSf 

cafions, more r^ than paneg3rric,l ihould hate done 
their caufe more barm than good by this expedient. 
To mifreprefent fa£b is what, I know, diey will 
not require of me. I muft be more a friend 
to truth, than even to them, where their interefts 
are oppofite, 

I (hall tell the women what it is our fez com* 
plains of mod in the married ftate; and if they be 
difpofed to fatjsfy us in this particular, ^11 the other 
diflferences will eafily be accommodated. If I be 
not miftaken, 'tis their love of dominion which is 
the ground of the quarrel ; though it is very likdy, 
that they will think it an unreafonable love of it in 
us, which makes us infift fo much upon that point; 
However this may be, no paffion feems to have 
more influence on female minds than this for power: 
and there is a remarkable inftance in hiftory of its 
prevailing above another paflion, which is the only- 
one that can be fuppofed a proper counterpoife fbr 
it. We are told, that all the women in Scythk 
once confpired againft the men, and kept the fecret 
fo well that they executed their defign before they 
^ere fufpeded. They furprifed the men in drink, 
or afleep ; bound them all fall in chains ; and hav- 
ing called a fplemn council' of the whole fex, it was 
debated what expedient fhould be ufed to unprove 
the prefent advantage, and prevent their iklling 
again into flavery. Tp kill all the men did not feem 
to be the relifh of any part of the affembly, not- 
V'ithftaxiding the injuries formerly received ; and 
4ljey were attervards pleafed ;o pial^e a |;reatinerit 


of this lenity of thdrs. It was, therefore, agreed 
to put out the eyes of the whole male fez, and 
thereby . refign in all future time the vanity which 
they could draw from their beauty, in order to fe- 
cure their authority. We mull no longer pretend 
to drefs and fhow, faid they ; but then we (hall be 
free from flavery. We ihall hear no more tender 
fighs, but in return we ihall hear no more imperi- 
ous commands. Love muft for ever leave us -, but 
he will carry fubjedion along with him* 

It is regarded by fome as an unlucky drcumflance, 
iince the women were refolved to maim the men, 
and deprive them of fome of their fenfes^ in order 
to render them humble and dependent, that the 
fenfe of hearing could not ferve their purpofe, 
fince it is probable the females would rather have 
attacked that than the fight; and, I think, it is 
agreed among the learned, that, in a married (late, 
it is not near fo great an inconvenience to lofe the 
former fenfe as the latter. However this may be, 
we are told by modem anecdotes, that fome of the 
Scythian women did fecretly fpare their hu(bands' 
eyes ; profummg, I fuppofe, that they could go- 
vern them as well by means of that fenfe as with- 
out it. But fo incofrigible and untra£bble were ' 
thefe mw, that th^r wives were all obliged, in a 
few years, as thdr youth and beauty decayed, to 
imitate the ej^anlple of their lifters; which it was 
no difficult matter to do in a (late where the female 
(e^ had once ^t the fuperiority, 

I know 


37^ ^^^^ A^^ wMTmas or 

I know not if our Scotdfh ladies deriv^e any tbiqg 
of this humour fit)m their Scythian anceftors ) bul 
I muft confe&y that I have often been furprifed to 
fee a woman very well pleafed to take a £do1 far 
her mate, that ihe might govern widi the lefs coiv- 
troul ; and could not but think her fientiments, io 
this refped, ftiil more barbarous than thofe of the 
Scythian women above mentbned; as much aa the 
eyes of the underftanding are more valuable than 
thofe of the body. 

But to be jufty and to lay the Uame more equal- 
ly, I am afraid it is the fault of our fest, if the 
women be fo fond of rule } and that if we didnot 
'abule our authority, they woUld never diink it 
worth while to difpute it. Tyrants, we know, pro* 
'duce rebels ; and all hiftory informs us, that rebdt^ 
when they prevail, are apt to become tyrants in 
their tym. For this reafon I could wiih thooe 
were no pretenfions to authority on either fide, but 
that eveiy thing was carried on with peifsft equa-> ' 
lity, as between two equal members of the fame 
body. And to induce both parties to embrace 
thofe amicable fentiments, I (hall deliver to them 
Plato's account of the origin of Love and Mar- 

Mankind, according to that £u)ciful philolbphery 
. were not, in thdr origin, divided into male and fe- 
male, as at prefent ; but each individual perfon was 
a compound of both lexes, and was in himiUf 
\>oth huiband and wife, melted down into one living 

' • creature. 

atktxkn. Thk iimoiiy no doubt, was verj intirey 
aund the pttte veiy well adjufted together, fince 
there refulted a perfefi harmony betwixt the mide 
and female, although they were obliged to be inle^ 
parable companions. And fo great were the har« 
mbny ahd luippitiefa -flowing 'from it, that die An^ 
drcgynes (for fo Plato calls them) or men-women^ 
became infolent upon their proiperity, and rebelled 
agaiaft the Gods. To pnnifh them fer this teme^ 
rity, Jupiter oould contrive no better expedient than 
to divorce the male part from die female^ and 
ou^e two imperfeft be^igs of the compound, which 
' was ^sefiore fo perfiefit. Hence the or^in of men and 
women, it diftind otatuici. But notwifhftanding 
this divifioo, fo Uvdy is our remembrance of the 
hiqppinefii which we enjoyed in our primeval ftate, 
that we are never at left in thisfituadon ; but eaeh 
of thefe halves k continuaBy iieardbing through the 
whole fpedes to find the other half, which v^z& 
fobken from it ; »d when they meet, they join 
again widi the grealeft fbndntfs and fympafhy. But 
it often happens, diat they are millaken in this par.* 
ticttlar; that they take for their half what no way 
oorreljponds to diem } and that the parts do not 
meet nor join in with each other, ari is ufual in 
fiu&ures. In this cafe the union is loon diflblved, 
and each part is fet loofe again to bunt for its loft 
half, joining itfelf to every one whom it meets, by 
way of trial, and enjoying no reft till its perfeft 
Sympathy with its partner ihews, diat it ha$ at laft 
l)een fuccefisf ul in its endeavouiit 




Were I difpofed to carry on this fiftion of Flatoy 
which accounts for the mutual love betwixt the 
fexes in fo agreeable a manner, I would do it by 
the following allegory. 

When Jupiter had feparated the male from the 
female, and had quelled their pride and ambitioB 
by fo fevere an operation, he could not but repent 
him of the cruelty of his vengeance, and take com- 
pafQon on poor mortals, who were now become in- 
capable of any repofe or trmquillity. Such crar- 
ings, fuch anxieties, fuch necei&ties arofe, as made 
them curfc their creation, and think exiftence itfelf 
a puni{hment. In vain had they recourfe to every 
other occupation and amufement. In vain did they 
feek after every pleafure of fenfe, and every re^ 
finement of reafon. Nothing could fill that void 
which they felt in their hearts, or fupply the lofs of 
their partner who was fo fsttally feparated from 
them. To remedy this diforder, and to beftow 
fome comfort, at lead, on the human race in their 
forlorn fituation, Jupiter fent down Love and Hy* 
men, to colled the broken halves of human kind» 
and piece them together in the bed manner poflible, 
Thefe two deities found fuch a prompt difpofition 
in mankind to unite again in their primeval ftate, 
that they proceed cd on their work with wonderful 
fuccefs for lome tiine, till, at lad, from many uh* 
lucky accidents, difTention arofe betwixt them. 
The chief counfellor and favourite of Hymen was 
Care, who was continually filling his patron^s head 
villi profpe^ of futurity, a fettlement, family^ 



diildren, fierrants; fb that little elfe was regarded 
in all the matches they nuuje. On the other haml^ 
Love had chofeU' Pleafure for his £&Tourite, who 
was as pernicious a counfeUor as the other, and 
would never allow Love to look beyond the prefent 
momentary gratification, or the Satisfying of the 
prevsdling inclination. Thefe two favourites became^ 
in a little time, irreconcileable enemies, and made 
it their chief bufinels to undermine each other in 
all thdr undertakings. No fooner had Love 'fixed 
upon two halves, which he was cementing together, 
and forming to a clofe union, but Care infinuates 
himfelf, and bringing Hymen along with him, di£- 
folves the union produced by Love, and joins each 
half to fome other half, which he had provided for 
it. To be revenged of this, Heafure creeps in upon 
a pair already joined by Hymen; and csdling Love 
to his afliftance, they underhand contrive to join 
each half, by fedret links^ to halves which Hymen 
was wholly unacquainted with. It was not long 
before this quarrel was felt in its pernicious conie- 
quences; and fuch complaints arofe before the 
throne of Jupiter, that he was obliged to fummon 
the ofiending^ parties to appear before him, in or- 
der to give an account of their proceedings. After 
hearing the pleadings on both fides, he ordered an 
immediate reconcilement betwixtXove and Hymen, 
as the only expedient for giving happinefs to man- 
kind : and that he might be fure this reconcilement 
ihould be durable, he laid his ftrid injunctions on 
. them never to join any halves without confulting 
their favourites Care and Pleafure, and obtaining 
J3 the 

^8a Lin AH^ W&ITIN08 ta 

the confent of both to the €QDJimdioik HViMM 
ibk order is ftridly obfdrved, the AndrogyM i« 
perfedlj reftcH:^ and the huoum noe eqoy dife 
lame happinefe as in their primed ftate. The 
feam is fcarce perceived that joina the two btingis 
but both of them combmeto form one perfift 
hsqppf creature. 

*i<>)ii , 1 1 > 

No- I. 


iHERE is nothing which I would 

more eameftly to my female readen than the ftu^ 

of hiftory, as an occupation, of all others, the facft 

fiiited both to their fex and education, much mone 

mfti«£tive than their ordinary books of amnfemcot, 

and more entert^uning than thofe ierious comptA^ 

tioas, which are ufually to be found in thctr dofett* 

Among other important truths, which they may 

leant from hiftory, they may be informed of two 

particulars^ the knowledge of which may contii- 

bute very much to their quiet and repofe. That 

our fex, as well as their's, are far from being iiidh 

perfed creatures as they are apt to imagine, moI 

that Love is not the only pailion which governs die 

male worJd, hut is often overcome by avarice, aa^ 


• -• * 


yaiuty«^ and a th^ufand other paffions. 
Whetha* they be the falfe reprefentations of maa« 
kind in thofe two particttlars, which endear novels 
and romaiices fo much to the fair fex, 1 4mow not; 
iMit muft confefs, that I am fony ta fee them ha¥6 
fuch an averfion to matter of fad^ a^ fuch an ap* 
petite for falfehood. I remember I was oncede- 
fired by a young beauty, for whom I had fome 
paifion, to fend her fome novels and romances fot 
her amufement to the country ; but was not fe uttb 
generous as to take the advantage, ^^^^lich fuch a 
courfe of reading might have given me, being re- 
folved not to make ufe of poifoned arms againft 
her. I therefore fent her natarch^s lives, aifuring 
her, at the lame time, that there was not a^ word of 
truth in them from i>egiiining to end. She perufed 
them very atten^ely, till Ihe caxne to the lives (tf 
Alexander and Gsefar, whofe names flie had heard 
of by accident, and then returned me the book, 
with many reproaches for deceiving her. 

• ■ 

I may, indeed, be toM, that the fur fex have nfo 
fuch averfion to hiftory, as I have reprefented, pro- 
vided it htjecret hiflory, and contain fome memo- 
rable tranfadion proper to excite their curioftty. 
But as I do not find that truth, which is the bafis 
of hiftory, is at all regarded in thefe anecdotes, I 
cannot admit of thk as a proof of their paflion far 
that ftudy. Howevfer this may be, I fee not why 
the fame curiofity might not receive a more proper 
diredion, and iead them to define accomts of thofe 



ivho lived in paft agc8» as well as of thttr coteill* 
poraries* What is it to Cleora, whether Fukut 
entertains a fecrct commerce of love with Hiiiander^ 
or not ? Has (he not equal reafon to be pkafed, 
when (lie is informed, (what is whifpered about 
among hidorians) that Cato's fider had an intrigue 
with Csefar, and palmed her fon, Marcus BrutuSy 
upon her huiband for his own, though in reality he 
was her gallant's ? And are not the loves of Met 
falina or Julia as proper fubjeds of difcourfe w 
any intrigue that this city has produced of late 

But I know not whence it comes, that I hare 
thus feduced into a kind of raillery agunft the ladies ; 
unlefs, perhaps. It proceed from the lame caufa^ 
which makes the perfon, who is the&vourite of the 
company, be often the objed of dieir good-namr* 
ed jeils and pleafantrics. We are pleaded to addveft 
ourlclvcs after any manner to one who is 
to us, and at the fame time prefume, that 
will be taken amiis by a perfon, who is iecureof 
the good opinion and a&crions of every 
fcnt. I ihall now proceed to handle ray 
more lerioufly, and (hall poim out the many 
t^^^"^ which £ow from the ftudy of faiilcsT, 
ihcw hv^w well fuitod it is to every one, but 
cuhrly ;o rhofe who ar« debarred the iererer fto- 
die^ by :he teniemefs of their compIesioQ, aad 
tlie ucJv3e:s 0; ir.e^ir eJucaiaoiu Tbe advaao^ 
found iu LLtcry ;ee:n ro be of three ^^^^j^ as k 


amufee the fancy, as it improves the underftand* 
ing, aad as it ftrengthens virtue. 

In. reality, what more agreeable entertainment to 
the mind, than to be tranfported into the remoteft 
ages of the world, and to obferve human fociety, 
in its infancy, making the firlt faint eflays towardsr 
the arts and fciences : to fee the policy of govern- 
mcnt, and the civility, of converfation refining by 
degrees, and every thing which is ornamental to 
human life advancing towards its perfection. To 
remark the rife, progrefe, declenfion, and final 
extindion of the mod flourifhing empires ; the vir- 
tues which contributed to their greatnefs, and the 
vices which drew on their ruin. In fhort, to fee 
all the humaa race, from th6 beginning of time^ 
pafs, as it were, in review before us ; appearing in 
their true colours, without any of thofe difguifes 
which, during their lifetime,. fo much perplexed 
the judgment of diie beholders. What fpedacle 
can be imagined, fo magnificent, fo various, fo in- 
terefting ? What amufement, dther of the fenfes 
or imagination, can be compared with it ? ShaU 
thofe trifling patumes, which engrofs fo much of 
our time, be preferred as more fatisfadory, and 
more fit to engage our attention ? How perverfe 
mu.ft that tafte be, which is capable of fo wrong a 
choice of pleafures ?. 

But hi(tory .is a moft improving part of know- 
ledge, as well as an agreeable amufement ; and a 

C c great 


great part of what we commoiily call eruditii 
and value fo highly, is nothing but an acquaint^ 
ance with hiftorical facts. An extenHve knowledge 
of this kind belongs to men of letters : but I muft 
think it an unpardonable ignorance in perfons^ of 
whatever fex or condition^ not to be acquainted 
with the hiftory of their own covntry, together 
with the hiflories of ancient Greece and Rome. A 
woman may behave herfelf with good manners, and 
have even fome vivacity in her turn of wit } but 
where her mind is fo unfiimiihed, it is impof&hle 
her converfation can afford any entertainment to 
men of fenfe and rcflecUon. 

I muft add, that hiftory is not only a valuable 
part of knowledge, but opens the door to many 
other parts, and affords materials to moft of the 
fdences. And, indeed, if we confider the fh(M^ 
nefs of human Kfe, and our limited knowkdge, 
even of what pafTes in our own time, we muft be 
fenfible that we ihould be for ever children in un* 
derftanding, were it not for this invention, vdiich 
extends our experience to all paft ages, and to the 
mod diftam nations; making them contribute as 
much to our improvement in wifdom, as if they 
had adually lain under our obfervation. A man 
acquainted with hiftory may, in fome refped, be 
faid to have lived from the beginning of the worlds 
and to have been making continual additions to his 
flock of knowledge in every century* 



There is alfo an advantage in that experience, 
which is acquired by hiftory, above what is learned 
by the practice of the world, that it brings us ac- 
quainted with human afiairs, without diminifhing in 
the leaft from the moft delicate fentiments of virtue. 
And to tell the truth, I know not any ftudy or oc- 
cupation fo unexcepticmable as hiftory in this partis 
cular. Poets can paint virtue in the moft charming 
colours ; but as they addreis themfelves entirely to 
the paflions, they often become advocates for vice. 
Even philofophcrs are apt to bewilder themfelves in 
the fubtility of their fpeculations ; and we have 
feen feme go fo far as to deny the reality of all 
moral diftindions. But I think it a remark worthy 
the attention of the fpeculative^ that the hiftorians 
have been, almoft without exception, the true 
friends of virtue, and have always reprefented it in 
its proper colours, however they may have erred 
in their judgments of particular perfons. Ma- 
chiavel himfelf difcovers a true fentiment of virtue 
in his hiftory of Florence. When he talks as a 
politician, in his general reafonings, he confiders 
poifoning, aiTailination, and perjury, as lawful arts 
of power ; but when he fpeaks as an hiftorian, in 
his particular narrations, he fhews fo keen an indig- 
nation againft vice, and fo warm an approbation 
of virtue, in many pafiages that I could not for- 
bear applying to him that remark of Horace, 
that if you chace away nature, jhough with ever 
fo great indignity, (he will always return upoi^you. 
Nor is this combination of hiftorians in favour of 
virtue, at all difficult to be accounted for. When 

C c -2 a man 


a man of bufinefs enters into life and a£don, ht is 
more apt to confider the charadens of men, as they 
have relation to his intereft, than as they ftand 
in themfelves; and has his judgment warped on 
every occalion by the violence of his paflion. 
When a phiiofopher contemplates chara&ers and 
manners in his dofet, the general abftraft view of 
the objeds leaves the mind fo cold and unmoved, 
that the fendments of nature have no room to 
play, and he fcarce feels the difference between 
vice and virtue. Hidory keeps in a }uft me- 
dium between thefe extremes, and places the 
obje£ls in their true point of view. The wri< 
ters of hiftory, as well as the readers, are fuffi« 
ciently interefted in the chambers and events, to 
have a lively fendment of blame or praife ; and, 
at the dune time, have no particular intereft or con- 
cern to pervert their judgment. 

Vero voces loin dcmum pedore ib imo 




No. I. 

E S S A Y IV. 


It is eafy to obferve, that comic nmters exagge- 

rate every chara£ter, and draw their fop or co\htrd 
with ftronger features than are any where to be met 
with in nature. Iliis moral kind of painting for 
the flage has been often compared to the painting 
for cupolas and ceilings, where the colours are 
overcharged, and every part is drawn exceiEvely 
large, and beyond nature^ The figures feem mon^ 
ftrous and difproportioned, when feen too nigh; 
but become natural and regular, when fet at a dif* 
tance, and placed in that point of view, in whicl^ 
they are intended to be furveyed. For a like rea- 
fon, when chambers are exhibited in theatrical re* 
prefentations, the want of reality removes, in a 
manner, the perfonages; and rendering them more 
cold and unentertaining,^ makes it necefTary to com- 
penfate, by the force of colouring, whstt they want 
in fubflance* Thus we find in common life, that 
when a man once allows himfelf to depart from 
truth in his narrations, he never can keep within 
bounds of probability ; but adds ftill fome new cir- 
cumftance to render his (lories more marvellous, 
and to fatisfy his imagination. Two men in 
buckram fuits became eleven to Sir John FaUlaff^ 
before the end of his fiory. 

Cc 3 There 


There is only one vice, which may be found in 
life with as flrong features, and as high a colour* 
ing as need be employed by any fatirift or comic 
poet ; and that is Avarice. Ev^ry day we meet 
with men of immenfe fortunes, without heirs, and 
on the very brink of the grave, who refufe 'them- 
felves the mod common necefTaries of life, and go 
on heaping polTeflions on poiTeffions under all the 
real prefl'ures of the fevereft poverty. An old 
ufurer, fays the ftory, lying in his laft agonies was 
prefented by the prieft with the crucifix to worihipi 
He opens his eyes a moment before he expires, 
confiders the crucifix, and cries, Tbefe jewels are 
not true ; I can only lend ten fijioles upon fuch a 
fledge. This was probably the inrention of fome 
epigrammatift ; and yet every one, from his own 
experience, may be able to recoiled almoft as 
ftrong inftances of perfeverance in avarice. It is 
commonly reported of a famous mifer in this city, 
that findhig himfelf near death, he fent for fome 
of the magiftrates, and gave them a bill of an hun- 
dred pounds, payable after his deceafe, which fum 
he intended fhould be difpofed of in charitable 
ufes } but fcarce were they gone, when he orders 
them to be called back, and offers them ready 
money if they would abate five pounds of the fmn. 
Another noted mifef in the north, -intending to de- 
fraud his heirs, and leave his fortune to the build* 
ing an hofpital, protraded the drawing of his will, 
from day to day ; and it is thought, that if thofe 
interefted in it had not paid for the drawing of it, he 
would have died inteilat^ In Ihort, none of the moft. 



ftirious excefles of love and ambition are, in any 
reiped;, to be compared to die extremes of ava^ 

'f he belt excufe that can be made for avarice is, 
that it generally prevails in old men, or in men of cold 
tempers, where all the other affe£Hons are extind ; 
and the mind being incapable of remaining without 
fome paffion or purfuit, at lad finds out this mon« 
ftrouHy abfurd bne, which futts the coldnefs and 
ina&ivity of its temper. At the £une time, it 
feems very extraordinary, that fo frofty, fpiritlefs a 
paffion fhould be able to carry us ferther than all 
the warmth of youth and pleafure. But if we look 
more narrowly into the matter, we fliall find, that 
this very circumilance renders the explication of 
the cafe more eafy. When the temper is warm 
and fuJU of vigour, it naturally ihoots out more 
ways than one, and produces inferior palfions to 
counterbalance, in fome degree, its predominant 
inclination. It is impoifible for a perfon of that 
temper, however bent on any purfuit, to be depriv- 
ed of all fenfe of ihame, or all regard to the fenti- 
ments of mankind. His friends muft have fome 


influence over him; and other confiderations are 
apt to have their weight. All this ferves to reftraia 
him within fome bounds. But it is no wonder that 
the «raritious man, b^g, from the coldnels of his 
temper, without regard to reputation, to friendihip 
or to pleafure, fhould be carried fo far by his pre- 
vailing inclinadon, and fhould difplay his paffion in 
fyifh furprizing inftances. 

C c 4 Accordir^Iy 


Accordingly we find no vice fo irreclainuble as 
avarice : and though there fcarcely has been a mo* 
ralift or philofopher, from the beginning of the 
world to this day, who has not levelled a (troke at 
it, we hardly find a fingie indance of any perfon's 
being cured of it. For this reafon, I am more apt 
to approve of thofe, who attack it with wit and hu* 
mour, than of thofe who treat it in a ferious man* 
ner. Their being fo little hopes of doing good to 
the people infeded with this vice, I would have the 
reft of mankind, at lead, diverted by our manner 
of expofing it ; as indeed there is no kind of diver* 
lion, of which they fecm fo willing to partake. 

Among the fables of Monfieur de la Motte, there 
is one levelled againfl avarice, which* feems to me 
more natural and eafy than mod of the fables of 
that ingenious author. A mifer, fays he, being 
dead, and fairly interred, came to the banks of the 
3tyx, defjring to be ferried over along with the 
other ghofls. Charon demands bis fare, and is 
fuiprifed to fee the mifer, rather than pay it, throw 
himfelf into the river, and fwim over to the other 
fide, notwithdanding all the clamour and oppofition 
that could be made to him. All hell was in an up^ 
roar ; and each of the judges was meditating fome 
punifnment, fuitable to a crime of fuch dangeroua 
confequence to the infernal revenues. Shall he be 
chained to the rock with Prometheus? Or tremble 
below the precipice in company with the Danaides? 
Or aflid Sifyphus in rolling his done ? , No, feys 
Minos, none of thefe. We muft invent fome fei* 



verer puoiihinent. Let him be fent back to the^ 
earth, to fee the ufe bis heirs are making of his 

I hope it will not be mterpreted as a defign of 
fetting myfelf in oppolition to this celebr^ed au- 
thor, if I proceed to deliver a fable of my own^ 
which is intended to expofe the fame vice of ava^ 
rice. The hint pf it was taken from thefe lines of 
Mr. Pope : 

Damn'd to the mmesi an equal fate betides 
The Have that digs it, ani the flave that hides. 

Our old mother Earth once lodged an Indictment 
againft Avarice before the courts of heaven, for her 
wicked and malicious counfel and advice in tempt* 
ing, inducing, perfuading, and traitoroufly feduc- 
ing the children of the plaintiflF to commit the de- 
teftable crime of parricide upon her, and, mangling 
her body, ranfack her very bowels for hidden trea- 
fure. The indidment* was very long and verbofe ; 
but we muf): omit a great •part of the repetitions and 
fynonymous terms, not. to tire our readers too much 
with our tale. Avarice, being called before Jupi- 
ter to anfw^r to this charge, had not much to lay 
in her own defence. The injury was clearly proved 
upon her. The fact, indeed, was notorious, and 
the injury had been frequently repeated. When, 
therefore, the plaintiff demanded juftice, Jupiter 
very readily gave fentence in her favour ; and his 
decree was to thijB purp<tfe«-That, iince dame Ava- 



rice, the defendant, had thus grievoufly injured 
dame Earth, the plaintiff^, flie was hereby ordered 
to take that treafure, of which (lie had feionioufly 
robbed the faid plaintiff by ranfacking her bofom, 
and reftore it back to her without diminution or re- 
tention. From this fentence it will follow, fays Jtii- 
fiter to the bye-flandcrs, that in all future ages, the 
retainers of Avarice fhali bury and conceal their 
riches, and thereby reftore to the earth what they 
take froiB her. 

No. L 


1 HE elegant part of mankind, who are not im« 
merfed in mere animal life, but employ themfelves 
in the operations of the mind, may be divided into 
the /earned and converfible. The learned are fuch 
as have chofen for their portion the higher and 
more dii&cult operations of the mind, which require 
leifure and folitude, and cannot be brought to per* 
fedlion, without long preparation and fevere labour. 
The converfible world join to a fodable difpofition, 
and a tafte for pleafure, an inclination for the eafier 
and more gentle exercifes of the underftanding, for 
obvious refledions on hunun affiurs, and the duties of 



common life, and for obfervation of the biemifhes 
or perfedions of the particular objects that furround 
them. Such fubjeds of thought fiimiih not fuffi- 
cient employment in folitude, but require the com- 
pany and converfation of our fellow creatures, to 
render them a proper exercife for the mind ; and 
this brings mankind together in fodety, where 
every one difplays his thoughts and obfervations in 
the beft manner he is able, and mutually gives and 
receives information, as well as pleafure. 

The reparation of the learned from the converfi* 
ble world feems to have been the great defed: of 
the lad age, and mud have had a very bad influ- 
ence both on books and company : for what poffi- 
bility is there of finding topics of converfation fit 
for the entertainment of rational creatures, without 
having recourfe fometimes to hiftory, poetry, poli- 
tics, and the more obvious principles, at leaft, of 
phiiofophy ? Muft our whole difcourfe be a conti- 
nued feries of goffipping ftories and idle remarks? 
Muft the mind never rife higher, but be perpe- 

StunM and worn out with endlels chat. 
Of WiU did thif, and Nan did that. 

This would be to render the time fpent in com- 
pany the moft unentertaining, as well as the molt 
unprofitable, part of our lives. 

On the t)tfaer hand, learning has been as great a 



loler by being (but up in colleges and cells, and le- 
eluded from the world and good company. By 
that means every part of what we call M/es 
klires became totally barbarous, being cultivated 
by meii without any ta(ie for life or manners, and 
without that liberty and facility of thought astd ex- 
prefGon which can only be acquired by converfa- 
tion. Even philofophy went to wreck by thb 
moping rcclufe method of ftudy, and became 
as chimerical in her conciufions^ as she was unin- 
teliigible in her ftyic and ms^ner of delivery: and, 
indeed, what could be expected from men who 
never confulted experience in any of their rcafon* 
ings, or who never fearched for that experience, 
where alone it is to be found, in common life and 
converfation I 

It is whb great pleafure I obferve that men of 
letters in this age, have Io(l, in a great meafure, 
that fliynefs and baflifulnefs of temper, which kept 
them at a diilance from mankind; and, at the 
fame time, that men of the world are proud of bor» 
rowing from books their moR agreeable topics of 
converfation. It is to be hoped, that this league 
between the learned and convertible^ worlde, which 
is To happily begun, will he ftilt farther improved to 
their mutual advantage ; and to that end, I know 
nothing more advantageous than fuch Eflfays as 
thofe, with which I endeavour to entertain the pub^ 
Kg. In this view, I cannot but coniider myfelf is 
a kind of reddcnt or ambaifador from the domi* 
nions of learning to thofe of converfation^ and 



fliall think it my confiant duty to pnxnote a good 
correfpondence betwixt thefe two dates, which 
have fo great a dependance on each cthen I fliall 
give intelligence to the learned of xdiatever paiTes 
ia company, and Ihail endeavour to import uito 
company whatever commodities I find in my native 
country ptx^per for their ufe acd e&teitainment; 
The balance of trade we need not be jealous oi^* 
nor will there be any diiHcuky to preferve it on bock 
fides. The materials of this commerce mull cfaie^ 
ly be fumiihed by converiationandcooEmapn-fife: 
the a)ianu££^uring of diem alone bdonga to 

As it would be aa unpoidonaUe nsgfigence ia 
an amba^iador not to pay his reipe&s to the ioMi- 
reign of the (late where he is commaificmed to ro* 
fide ; fo it would be altogether inexcu&^le ia me 
iK>t to addre& myfelf with a paiticular refped ta 
the fair fex» who are die foverdgns of the empire 
of converfiuion. I approach them wkfa rereKOce ; 
and were not my countrymen, the learned, a inA* 
bom independent race of nu^rtak, esttremely jealous 
of thdr lU>erty, and unaocuftomed to fubjection, t 
ihould refigninto their £ur hands, the fav^vign aiL» 
thority over the republic of letters. Asdiecafeibuuls, 
my commilfion extends no £uther than to.defire a 
league, offmfive and defisnfive, againft our comnvm 
enemies, againft the enemies of reafon and beauty, 
people of duU heads and cold hearts. From this mo« 
mentlet us purfue diem with the fev^^ vengeance: 
let no quarter be gtren, but .to thofeof ibiiad under*- 

a fiandings 


fiandings and delicate affe^*ons ; and thefe charaC- 
ters, it is to be prefumcd> we (hall always find infe* 

To be ferious, and to quit the allufion before k 
be worn thread-bare, I am of opinion, that women, 
that is, women of fenfe and education (for to fuch 
alone I addrefs myfelf) are much better judges of 
all polite writing than men of the fame degree of 
onderftanding; and that it is a vain panic, if they be 
ib iar terrified with the common ridicule that is le* 
veiled againft learned ladies, as utterly to abandon 
every kind of books and (tudy to our fex. Let the 
dread of that ridicule have no other eflfed than to 
make them conceal their knowledge before fools, 
who are not worthy of it, nor of them. Such 
will ftill prefume upon the vain title of the male 
fex to aflfed a fuperiority above them ; but my fair 
readers may be affured, that all men of fenfe, who 
know the world, have a great deference for their 
judgment of fuch books as lye within the compafs 
of their knowledge, and repofe more confidence in 
the delicacy of their tafle, though unguided by 
rules, than in all the dull labours of pedants and 
commentators. In a neighbouring nation, equally 
famous for good tafle, and for gallantry, the la- 
dies are, in a manner, the fovereigns of the learned 
world, as well as of the converjible ; and no polite 
writer pretends to venture before the public, without 
the approbation of fome celebrated judges of that 
fex. Their verdict is, indeed, fometimes com- 
plained of ; and, in particular, 1 find, that the ad« 



mirers of Comeille, to fave that great poet's honour 
upon the afcendant that Racme began to take over 
hun, always faid, that it was not to be expeded^ 
that fo old a man could difpute the prize, before 
fuch judges, with fo young a man as his rival. 
But this obfervation has been found unjufl, fmce 
pofterity feems to have ratified the verdid of that 
tribunal : and Racine, though dead, is ftili the &- 
vourite of the fair fex, as well as of the befl: judges 
among the men. 

There is only one fubjeft of which I am apt to 
diftrufl: the judgment of females, and that is con- 
cerning books of gallantry and devotion, which they 
commonly zffeOt as high £own as poffible; and 
mod of them feem more delighted with the warmth, 
than with the juftnefs of the paidion. I mention 
gallantry and devotion as the fame fui^*ed, becaufe, 
in reality, they become the fame when treated in 
this manner ; and we may obferve, that they both 
depend upon the very fame .complexion. As the 
iair fex have a great fliare of the tender and amor- 
ous difpofition, it perverts their judgment on this 
occafion, and majces them be eaiiiy affected, even 
by what has no propriety in the expreffion or na- 
ture in the fentiment. Mr. Addifon's elegant dif- 
courfes on religion have no reliih. with them, in com« 
parifon of books of myftic devotion : and Otway's 
Tragedies are rejefted for the rakes of Mr. Dryden. 

Would the ladies correct their falfe t^ in this 
particular, let them accuftom themfelves a Httle 



more to books of all kinds ; let them give encou<» 
r^ement to men of i'enfe and knowledge to fre* 
quent their company ; and fmally, let them concur 
heartily in that union I have projected betwixt 
the learned and converfible worlds. They may, 
peihaps, meet with more complaifance from their 
mfual followers than from men of learning ; but 

_ _ ■ 

they cannot reafonably expect fo fincerc an affec* 
tion : and, I hope, they will never be guilty of fo 
wrong a choice, as to facrifice the fubftaLce for the 

No. I. 


i HERE is a fet of men lately fprung up amongft 
us» who endeavour to dillinguifh themfelves by ri*. 
diculing every thing, that has hitherto appeared fa- 
cred and venerable in the eyes of mankind. Rea- 
£bn, fobricty, honour, friendfliip, marriage, ^re 
the perpetual fubjeds of their inlipid raillery; and 
even public fpirit, and a regard to our country, are 
treated as chimerical and romantic. Were the. 
fchemes of thefe anti-reformers to take place, all- 
the bonds of fociety mud be broken, to make way 
for the indulgence of a licentious mirth and gaiety; 
the companion of our drunken frolics muft be pre- 
ferred to a friend or brother j diffolute prodigality. 



taiuft be fupplied at the expence of every thing 
valuable, either in public or private; and men 
ihall have fo little regard to any thing beyond 
themfelves, that, at lad, a free conftitution of go- 
vernment mufl become a fcheme perfedly impra£ti« 
cable among mankind, and muft degenerate into 
one univerfal fyftem of fraud and corruption* 

There is another humour which may be obferved 
in fome pretenders to wifdom, and which, if not 
fo pernicious as the idle petulant humour above 
mentioned,' muft, however, have a very bad eflfect 
on thofe who indulge it. I mean that grave philo- 
fophic endeavour after ,perfedion, which, under 
pretext of reforming prejudices and errors, ftrikes 
at all the mofl endearing fentiments of the heart, and 
all the moft ufefiil biaifes and inftinfls, which can 
govern a human creature. The Stoics were re- 
markable for this folly among the ancients ; and I 
wifh fome of more venerable charaders in later 
times had not copied them too faithfully in this par* 
ticular. The virtuous and tender fentiments, or 
prejudices, if you will, have fufFered mightily by 
thefe refleflions ; while a certain fullen pride or 
contempt of mankind has prevailed in their ftead, 
and has been efteemed the greateft wifdom ; though, 
in reality, it be the moil egregious folly of all 
others. Stafilius being folicited by Brutus to make 
one of that noble band who (truck the GoD-like 
ilroke for the liberty of Rome, refiifed to accom* 
pany them, faying, tbat all men were fools or 
madf and did not deferve that a vil^e man Jhould 
trmdfk bis bead about tbem. 


♦ >. 


My learned reader \rfll here eafily recolkft the 
reafun, ivhich an ancient philofopher gave, ^hy he 
Would not be reconciled to his brother, who folidt' 
ed his fiiendihip. He was too much a philofopher 
to think that the connexion of having fprung from 
the fame parent, ought to have any influence on a 
reafonabie mind, and exprefled his fentiment after 
fuch a manner as I think not proper to repeat* 
WheA your friend is in affliflion, fays Epiftetus^ 
yoii may counterfeit a fytnpathy with him, if it 
give him relief; but take care not to allow any 
compaflion to fink into your heart, or difturb that 
tranquillity, which is the perfe&ion of vnidom* 
Diogenes being afked by his friends in his ficknefs, 
what fbould be done with him after his death? 
Why, fays he, tbtvw me out into the Jields'^Wbaf^ 
replied they, to the birds or beq/ls?'^No rplace a 
cudgel by rne^ to defend myfeif withaL-^^To what pur^ 
fofe ? fay they, you will not have any fenfe^ nor any 
fawer of making ufe of it. Then if the beafls fbould 
dcvdur me J cries hc^fhall I be any morefenftble of it f 
—I know none of the fayings of that philofophef, 
which (hews more evidently both the liveEnefs and 
ferocity of his temper. 

How different from thefe are the maxims hf 
tehich Eugenius conducts himfelf ? In his youth, 
he applied himfelf, w ith the moft unwearied labour, 
to the ftildy of philofcphy ; and nothing was eirer 
able to draxv him from it, except when an oppottu^ 
nity offered of ferving his friends, or doing a plet4 
ftire to feme man of merit. When he was about 
thirty years of age, he was determined to ^uit the 

n-ee life of a bachelor (m y^hich oAerwMe he Would 
have been incRned to rdttain),- by coAfideiitfg tliat 
he wai the laft branch of air ancient fentfly, ^hikhr 
muft have been extfaffuiflled had he dfed \^hottt 
children. He made choice of the virtuous and 
beautiful "Emm for his confort, who, after being 
the folace of his Rfe for many yeai^, and haVm^ 
made him the father of federal children, piaJd at 
laft the gieneral debt t6 nattltrei Nothfag couWf 
have fupported hhtt tmder fo fevei^e an afHiafcrfr, 
but the coftfohttion he f eceivecf from his youn^ fa- 
mily, who Were now become deatfef to hint on ac- 
count of their deeeafed mother, Ond daughter ill 
particular is his darling, aiid the fiteret joy of hh 
foul } becaufe her features, her air, her voice, re- 
cal every moment the tender memory of his fpoufe, 
and fill his eyes wifh tears. He conceals this par- 
tiality a^ much as poffible ; and lioi^e but Itiis inti- 
mate frirtids aw aojuairtfed ^itfr ft. Tathetahci 
reveals aH his teildentefs ^ not is h« fo atffedfedly 
philofophfcal, as eVeh to csllF it by the nante of 
weaknefe. Th^ Ibto^ that he (Kll keeps the 
birth-day of Emii*a vnlfSi ^^rsy atid a more fond' 
and tender recollection' of pafl pleafures, itt like 
manner as it was celebrated in her lifetime, with joy 
and feftivky. They fcnoi* that he prefbiVes her 
pidure wkfc the utmoft cacfe, aiWcI hacj one piftxlf6 
iA mmiatuf e, Which he always we^sr nekt to his bO- 
fom: that he has left oi^defs ift his M wifi, that, 
in whateveif ^art of the wof Id he fliall happen tdr 
die, his l)ody &sAl be tntnfpoi^; aiid IbHA m the 

D d 2 fame 

404 Ul'fi AND WRITINGS Of 

fame grave with her's; and that a monument fiialF 
be ereded over them, and their mutual love and 
happinefs celebrated in an epitaph, which he him* 
felf has compofed for that purpofe. 

A few years ago I received a letter from a friend^ : 
who was abroad on his travels, and (hall here com* 
municate it to the public. It contains fuch an in* 
fiance of a philofophic fpirit, as I think pretty ex« 
traordinary, and may ferve as an example, not to 
depart too hr from the received maxims of con- 
dud and behaviour, by a refined fearch af^r hap- 
pinefs or perfedtion. The flory I have been fince 
aifured of as matter of hSt. 

Sir, Paris, Aug. 2, 1737, 

I know you are more curious of accounts of 
men than of buildings, and are more defirous of 
being informed of private hiflory than of public 
tranfadions ; for which reafon I thought the fol- 
lowing flory, which is the common topic of con*. 
verfation in this city, would be no unacceptable en- 
tertainment to you, 

A young lady of birth and fortune, bdng left : 
entirely at her own difpofal, perfifted long in a re- 
folution of leading a fingle life, notwithflanding 
feveral advantageous offers that had been made to 
her. She had been determined to embrace this 
refolution, by obferving the many unhappy mar- 



mges among her acquaintances, and by hearing 
the complaints which her female friends made of 
the tyranny, inconftancy, jealoufy, or indifference 
of their hufbands. Being a woman of ftrpng fpi- 
rit and an uncommon way of thinking, (he found no 
difficulty either in forming or maintaining this refo- 
lution, and could not fufpeft herfelf of fuch weak- 
nefs, as ever to be induced, by any temptation tp 
depart from it. She had, however, entertained a 
ftrong defire of having a fon, whofe education Ihe 
was refolyed to make the principal concern of her 
life, and by that means fupply the place of thofe 
other paffions, which (he was refolved for ever to 
renounce. She pufhed her philofophy to fuch in, 
uncommon length, as to find no contradi£tion be* 
twixt fuch a defire and her former refolution ; and 
accordingly looked about with great deliberation to 
find among all her male acquaintatice, one whofe 
charader and perfon were agreeable to her, without 
being able to fatisfy herfelf on that head. At 
length, being in the playhoufe one evening, (he 
fees in the parterre, a young man of a moft en- 
gaging countenance and modeft deportment ; and 
feels fuch a prepoffeffion in his favour, that (he had 
hopes this muft be the perfon (he had long fought 
for in vain. She immediately difpatches a fervanf 
to him ; defiring his company at her lodgings next 
morning. The young man was oveijoyed at the 
meffagc, and could not command his fatisfaclion^ 
upon receiving fuch an advance fi^m a lady of fo 
great beauty, reputation, and quality. He was, 
therefore, much difappointed, when hi found a wo* 

D d 3 mao^ 

jnWj^ who wpuld allow Urn np freedoms; m4 
^idit all her o^l^jg^g hehaviouTy confi^ied an^ 
pveraw^d 1ua:i to the l)ound$ of rational difoourfe 
fif^d Qqi>yerf^tion. Stie iCeemed, however^ wiUiQg 
p commence a iiiei^cMhip with him } m4 ^14 feimt 
tb^t his compwj would aivis^ys be accepta)>le to 
lier^ wheaeyer he had a leifure hour to beftoWf 
j^e needed ixot much epitreaty to repew his vifitSi 
\>^g ip ftruc]^ with her wit and beavLty^ that he 
^ft have bee^ un)^appy had he been debarred hfir 
fpjnpany. Every converiatiop feryed oijiy the 
p^x^ to 'm&^xae hk p^io^i and gaye bun more 
pccafipn to admire her perfon and underftandjag, 
^ well as t0 rejoice in his pwn good fortune. He 
was not, however, withp^t ^fixiety^ when h^ cof^ 
fidered the difproporlion of their birth and Ib^r 
(une i nor was his uneafijnefs allayed, even whei| 
|)e refkifled on the e:t^raprdinary manner in which 
their acquaintance had /commenced. Our pfailofor 
pbical heroine, in pbe me^ time,di£coyered,that bev 
lover's peripnal qualities did not belye his phyiiogr 
fvomy i io that j^gipg there was no occafipn foip 
^fxy farth/er trials ihe t^ikes a proper opportunity^ 
of communicating to him her whole infefitipnf 
'flvdr intcrcourfe continued for fome time, tilj a{ 
lail her \viQ}es were crowned, and (he was ^o^ 
BT^othcr of a boy, who Wfis to b^ the object of hiar 
fntfir/t' care and cpncerQ. Cladly would ihe havf 
cp^tfiiiqed hv.r fricndfhip v^'ich the father , but find? 
jng aim tpo p^JIpnate a Ipyer to remain within tb^ 
l^pupds of fricjndihip, ihe ^^as obliged to put avjpr 
^cf^e uppu ^ri^lf. She lends him a le{tter, f^ 



which fhe had inclofed a bond of annuity for a 
thoufand crowns ; deHring him,* at the fame time, 
never to fee her more, and to forget, if poffible, 
all pad favours and familiarities. He was thunder- 
flruck at receiving this meiTage ; and having tried, 
in vain, all the artjs th^t might win qpou (he refo^ 
lution of a woman, refolved at lafl to attack her 
by her foible. He commences a law fijit agai^ft 
her before the parlianient of P^H^ i ^d clsdms his 
fon, whom he pretends i» right tp educ?ite as be 
pleafed, according to the ufual m^ucims of the law 
in fuch cafes. She pleads, oq the other hand? their 
exprefs agreement before their commerce, and pro- 
tends that he b^d renounced all claim to any oflf- 
fpring that might ^e from their embraces. It is 
not yet known, how the parliament wjll determine 
in this e:(traordinary cafe* which puzzles all the 
lawyers^ a^ mnch as it does the philoibphers. As 

Ipon as they come to any iflUe, I fhall inform yp\i 

of it, and ih4l embrace any opportunity gf fubi- 

fcribjng myfclf, as I do ^t prefent, 

Yqw i»9ft bumble fervaut^ 



No. I, 


1 HE moral of the following fable will eafily dlf« 
cover itfelf, without my explaining it. One rivalet 
meetmg another, with whom he had been long 
Vnited in (U'i^l^ft amity, with noify haughtiHefs and 
difdain thus befpoke him—" What, brother! ftiH 
in the fame ftate ! Still low and creeping ! Are you 
not afhained, wh^ you behold m^, who, though 
lately in a like condition with yoq, am now become 
a great river, and fhall fhortly be able to rival th0 
Danube or the Rhine, provided thofe friendly raib$ 
continue, which have favoured my banks, but neg- 
lefted yours."—" Very true," replies the bumble 
rivulet : ** You are now, indeed, fwoln to a gre^t 
fize ; but methinks you are become withal, fornix 
^hat turbulent and muddy. I am contented with 
piy low condkion and my purilyJ 


Inftead of commenting upon this fable, I fhall 
take occafion from it to compare the different ftationi; 
pi life, and to perfuade fuch of my readers as are 
placed in the middle ftation to be fatisBed with it, as 
f he mod eligible of all others. Thefe form the moft 
pumerous rank of men that can be fuppofed fufT 
feptible of philofophy ; and, therefore, all dif« 
^Si:^f<^8 pf morality ought principally to be ^ddrefis* 


ed to them. The great are too much immerfed ia 
pleafurej and the poor too much occujued in pro- 
priding for the neceffities of life, to hearken to the 
calm vcnce of reafon. The middle ftation, as it is 
moft happy in many refpefts, fo particularly ia 
this, that a man, placed in it, can, ^th the great* 
eft leifure, confider his own happmefs, and reap a 
new enjoyment, from comparing his fituation with 
chat of perfons above or below him* 

Agur's prayer is fuffidently noted-*^ Two 
things h^ve I required of thee ; deny me them not 
before I die : remove far from me, vanity and lies ; 
give me neither poverty nor riches ; feed me with 
food convenient for me ; lest I be full and deny thee, 
and fay, who is the Lord ? or lest I be poor, and 
fteal, and take the name of my God in vain.^— ^ 
The middle ftation is here juftly recommended, jas 
affording the fulleft iecurity for virtue ; and I may 
alfo add, that it gives opportunity for the moft am^ 
jple exercife of it, and fumifhes employment for 
every good quality which we can poflibly be poffe& 
ed of. Thofe who are placed among- the lower 
ranks of men, have little opportunity of exerting 
any other virtue^ befides thofe of patience, refig* 
nation, induftry, and integrity. Thofe who are 
advanced into the higher ftations, have full em* 
ployment for their generofity, huriianity, afiability^ 
and charity. When a man lies betwixt thefe two 
extremes, he can exert the former virtues towards 
Ms fuperiors, and the latter towards his inferiors, 
j^verv moral quality^ which the human. foul is 


fu&qstible of, ^^y htv^ Its turn, apd b« called np 
i0 ftdion { 9^4 ^ m^xi may, »fter this manner, b^ 
much more utnmn of his progr^ in virtue, dian 
where hi$ good qimii^^ lie dormant, and witbpu( 

But ib^r^ i^ f»)Qth?r viit9e» tbat: ieems pHncir 
|ttUy to lye aouHig (squfils, and i>, far th«it r?a«pp, 
chiefly calculajbnl f^ the middle (Utipn f^ life^ 
This virtue is friendfhip. I believe mod men of 
graisreus tempers u§ ^9t to envy tb^ gr^al, when 
ibty coofider iha Is^f^ ppportimiti^ (m^ perfon* 
iwre ai doing good tp thj^ f^Uowrcreatwes, an^ 
0f acquiring tli# liimdAJp and eft^^m pf men of 
merit, Tbcy maik^ qq a4yaa^ea m Ym^ w4 i^ 
«0t oUigipd to a^Qciate yith thofe whom th^y Itavf 

iiitle kindA^ft for ; Hkf people of infimpr Ptafignf^ 
who are fubjec^ to hay^ th^ proffers of ^ri^dfliip 
reje^edy even where tH(^ wou)d be mc^ft fond fff 
pbcing their affe^ons, 8iM thougl^ the great h^wf 
more Utility in ^quimg |fiepdfl^ips> th^y c^na^t, 
^ fo certain of the fpcerity pf |hem, a§ JP^ of » 
lower rank j (m^ Aip favours they MW nj»y i^ 
i|iiire them flatty, k!Ae^4 of goodwill aqd hl^ 
iM^if. It haa he^ ypry j»di»9yfly r^»ar)wd, tha( 
«« attach ^nffelve^ fs^^re by the ferykee wa perfproi 

ihan by th^lj? wa r^^e, aod (ha^ ^ msff^ k w dwir 
ger of fofing hia ffieoda by PhMging thai^ toQ ^ 
I (houid^ tbere^e, ^ufe to lye in the mid41f W^Hft 
fuuj to bayr my ^^i^mepce ^fph my ir^^ Vj^n^ 
both by obligati^pa given ipd pscd^yed. ( h»y^ to* 
fjxiwk pnde «» be vvillbg tb»t 9J1 thg i#g?^t>9Bif^ 


^ould lye on my fidie $ and fliouM be sfraidt Au^ 
if they all lay on bis» be would alfo have t^o imich 
pride to be emirely eafy under tbem, or liave a per^ 
jPeSt complacency la my company, 

We may aifo remark of the middle ftaixoa gI 
life, that it is xxime £i;irourable to the acquirii^g of 
firifdom and ability, a$ well afiof virtue, and that t 
nian £6 fitiiate has a better chance £«r att^ipiog t 
knowledge both of men and things, than tbK)fe of 
a more elevated {Utioi)i, He enters v^th mom fair 
piiliarity initp human life, and every thing appears im 
its natural colours before him : he bfus n^ore leifun^ 
to form oUervations f and has, be(i4^> the motive 
of ambition to puih him &n, m bis attaimnwts ( 
being certain that he can never Hfe to any diftincr 
don or eminence in the world, without his own Iq^ 
duftry. Afkd here I cannot forbear communifrating 
a remark, which may appear fomewhat extraori:^- 
nary, vi;j, Tb^ it i^ wisely ordained by Provi- 
dence, that the middle (Utipn fiiould be the mpS: 
favourable to the improving our natural abilities^ 
fmce there is reaVy more capacity requifite to perr 
form the duties of that ftation, than is requifite tf 
ad in the higher fpheri^ of life. There are morf 
natural parts, and a ftronger genius requifite to 
make a good lawyer or phyfician, than tp make a 
jgreat monarch. For let us take any race ^r fucceft 
fion £^ kings, where birth alone giv^ a title to th^ 
crown : the EnglUh kings, for inftwce, who hav§ 
not been efteemed the mod fhining in hiftory, 

frpm the conqueft to the fuci^eflioii of his prefent 



Majefty, we may reckon twenty-eight fovereigns^ 
omitting thofe who died minors. Ofthefe, eight 
are efteemed princes of great capacity, viz. th^ 
Conqueror, Harry II., Edward I., Edward Illr^ 
Harry V. and VIL, Elizabeth, and the late King 
William. Now, I believe,, every one will sJlow, 
that, in the common run of manlund, there ar« 
not dght, out of twenty-eight, who are fitted, by 
nature, to make a figure either on the bench or at 
the bar. 3mce^ Charles VII. ten monarchs have 
reigned in France, omitting Francis XL - Five of 
thofe have been efteemed princes of capacity, vise. 
Louis XL, XII., and XIV., Francis I., and Harry 
IV. In (hort, the governing of mankind well re^ 
quires a great deal of virtue, juftice, and humanity, 
but not a furprizing capacity. A certain Pbpe, 
whofe name I have forgot, ufed to fay. Let us di^ 
vert ourfelvesy my friends : the world gowrns itfelf. 
There are, indeed, fome critical times, fuch as 
thofe in which Harry IV. lived, that call for the 
vtmoft vigour ; and a lefs courage and capacity, 
than what appeared in that great monarch, muft 
have funk under the weight. But fuch drcum* 
fences are rare ; and even then fortune does at 
le^ft one half of the bufinefs. 

Since the common profeffions, fuch as law of 
phy fie, require equal, if not fuperior capacity, to 
what are exerted in the higher fpheres of life, it is 
evident, that the foul muft be made of ftill a finer 
mould, to fhine in philofophy or poetry, or in any 
(^ the higher parts of learning. Courage and re* 

3 ifolutiou 


folution are chiefly requifite in a commander ; jus- 
tice and humanity in a flatefman, but genius and 
capacity in a fcholar. Great generals and great - 
politicians are found in all ages and countries of the • 
world, and frequently dart up, at once, ev«f; 
amongft the greateft barbarians. Sweden was funk 
in ignorance, when it produced Guftavus Erkfon^ 
and Guftavus Adolphus: Mufcovy, when the Czxf: 
appeared: and perhaps Carthage, when it gave: 
birth to Hannibal. But England mvift pafs throngU • 
a long gradation of its Spencers, Johnsons, Wallers, ' 
Drydens, before it arife at an Addifon or a Pope# * 
A happy talent for the liberal arts and fciences is 
a kind of prodigy among men. Nature mud af- 
ford the richeft genius that comes from her hands ; 
education and example mud cultivate it from the 
earlieft infancy ; and induftry muft concur to carry ^ 
it to any degree of perfeSion. No man needs be 
furprifed to fee Kouli-Kan among the Periians) but 
Homer in fo early an age among the Greeks is : 
certainly matter of. th« higheft wonder. 

A man cannot (hew a genius for war, who is not 
fo fortunate as to be trufted with command ; and it 
feldom happens in any (late or kingdom, that fe- 
veral. at once are placed in that fituation. How 
many Marlboroughs were there in the caofede- 
rate army, who never rofe fo much as Co the com- 
mand of a regiment? But I . am perfuaded, there 
has been but one Miiton in England within thefe 
hundred years } becaufe every one may exert the 
talents of .poetry who is poffefled of them ; and na ^ 


ofi^ could eiielt tbeffe under greater difadvalitsige^ 
tbati tbM divine poet. If no man were allowed to 
write verfe^, but the perfon who was beforehand 
named to be lauteat, could we expe£l ^ poet in ten 
thouftnd years ? 

W^^ W« to dKlinguiih the nuks of men hf 
th^ getiiiis and capacity, more than by their vk*- 
tMf atd ufefuilrieid to the public, great philofophersi 
vfouM certainily challenge the firft rank ; and mud 
be placed at the top of mankind. So rare is 
thid chUri&erj that, perhaps, there has not, a§ 
yet, been above two in the world, who 6an lay a 
juft claim to it# At )ea((, Galileo and Newton 
feem to me fo far to excel all the reft, that I 
caniiot admit any other into the fame chk with 

Great poets may challenge the fecond place} 
and this fpeciei of genius, though rare, is yet much 
more frequent than the former. Of the ^reek 
poets that remain. Homer alone feems to merit this 
chaVafter: of the Romans, Virgil, Horace, and 
Lucrefiue : of the Englifh, Milton and Pope : Cor* 
n^ille, Racine, Boileau, and Voltaire, of the 
French : and Taflb and Ariofto of the Italiai^. 

Great orators and hiftorians are, perhap^^ mow 
rare than great poets ; but as the opportunities fo/ff 
exeriling the talents requisite for eloquence, or ac* 
quiring the knowledge requisite for writing hi&ofy^ 
depend, in ibme fiieafure^ upon fortune^ Wd 


eaniiot pronounce thefe produftfons bf geflit^ 
to be more extraordinary than the fornlet. 

I (hould how tewfn from this dlgrelliort, and 
iKew that the middle ftatlon of life is more fevoW- 
able to happihefs, as well as to virtue aiid wifdotti : 
but as the arguments that prove this feem ptettf 
obvious, I ihall here forbear infiftlng on theifl. 

No. I. 


1 ilERE Aever was a man, whofe aftions aftd 
dharafter have been more earneftly and openly caiw 
taffed than thofe of the prefent minifter, who hav- 
ing governed a learned and free nation for fo long 
a time, amidft fuch mighty oppofitiofi, may make 
a large library of what has been t^rbte for and 
againft him, and is the fubjeft of above half thef 
paper that has been blotted in the nation tdthht 
thefe twenty years. I wife, for th6 honour* of out* 
eouAtry, that any one chamder of him bad 
been drawn with fuch judgment and impartiality, 
as to have fome credit with pofterity, and to (hew 
t]>at our liberty has, once at lead^ been employed 



to good purpofe. I am only afraid of failing id 
the former quality of judgment j but if it flioula 
be fo^ it is but one page more thrown away^ aftef 
an hundred thoufand upon the fame fubjed, that 
have perifhed and become ufelefs. In the mean 
time, I Ihall flatter myfelf with the pleafing imagi- 
nation, that the following charader will be adopted 
by future hiftorians. 

Sir Robert . Walpole, prime minifler of 
Great Britain, is a man of ability, not a genius ; 
good-natured, not virtuous ; conftant, not magna- 
nimous; moderate, not equitable *• His virtues, 
in fome inftances, are free from the alloy of thofe 
vices, which ufually accompany fuch virtues. He 
is a generous friend, without being a bitter enemy. 
His vices, in other inftances, are not compenfated 
by thofe virtues which are nearly allied to them : 
his want of enterprize is not attended with frugali- 
ty. The private charafter of the man is better 
than the public ; his virtues more than his vices : 
his fortune greater than his fame. With many 
good qualities he has incurred the public hatred : 
with a good capacity he has not efcaped ridicule. He 
would have been efteemed more worthy of his high 
ftation, had he never poiTeiTed it ; and is better qua- 
lifted for the fecond than for the firft place in any 
government. Hi$ miniftry has been more advanta^ 

.^ * Modtrrate in the cxcrcife of power, not equitable in en» 
groffing it. 



geous to his family than to the public, better for 
this age than for pofterity, and more pernicious by 
bad precedents than by real grievances. During 
his time trade has flouriflied, liberty declined, and 
learning gone to ruin. As I am a man I love him ; 
as I am a fcholar, I hate him ; as I am a Briton, I 
calmly wifh his fall. And were I a member of ei- 
ther houfe, I would give my vote for removing him 
from St. James's ; but fhould be glad to fee him 
retire to Houghton-Hall, to pafs the remainder of 
his days in eafe and pleafure. 

N. B. This Eflay, in the edition of 1760, was 
inferted by way of note to the Eflay " On Politics 
as a Science,'* after the words in the text, " by 
the violence of their fadtions," as follows : 

" What our author's opinion was of the famous 
minifter here pointed at, may be learned from that 
EfTay, printed in the former editions under the title 
of /I Character of Sir Robert Walpole. It was as 

follow :**♦*** 
# * * * #># * # 

" The author is pleafed to find, that after animo- 
fities are laid, and calumny has ceafeJ, the whole 
nation almoft have returned to the fame moderate 
fentiments with regard to this great man ; if they 
are not rather become more favourable to him, by 
a very natural tranfition, from one extreme to an- 
other. The author would not oppofe thefc hu- 

E e mane 


mane fentiments towards the dead^ though he can- 
not forbear obferving, that the not paying more of 
our public debts was, as hinted in this charader, a 
great, and the only great, error in that long admi- 


No. II. 

Letter from Mr, Hume to the Authors of the Cri- 
tical Review^ refpeding Mr. Wilkik's Epigo- 
niad, 2d edit.; referred to by him in his Letter to 
Dr. Adam Smithy of 12 Aprils 1759. 

[By perufing the following article, the reader 
will perceive, that how fubjedl foever we, the Re- 
viewers, may bfe to overfights and errors, we are 
not fo hardened in critical pride and infolence, but 
that, upon convidion, we can retract our cenfures, 
and provided we be candidly rebuked, kifs the rod 
of correction with great humility.] 

To THE Authors of the Critical Review, 

Gentlemen, April, 1759. 

The great advantages which refult from literary 
journals have recommended the ufe of them all 
over Europe ; but as nothing is free from abufe, it 
muft be confeffed, that fome inconveniencies have 
alfo attended thefe undertakings. The works of 
the learned multiply in fuch a furprifing manner, 
that a journalift, in order to give an account to the 
public of all new performances, is obliged to pe- 

E e 2 rufe 


rufc a fmall library every month ; and as it is im- 
poflible for him to beftow equal attention on every 
piece which he criticizes, he may readily be fur- 
prifed into miflakes, and give to a book fuch a 
charafter as, on a more careful perufal, he would 
willingly retraft. Even performances of the great- 
eft merit are not fecure againft this injury, and, 
perhaps, are fometimes the moft expofed to it, Att 
author of genius fcorns the vulgar arts of catching 
apphufe; he pays no court to the great; gives no 
adulation to thofe celebrated for learning ; takes no 
care to provide himfelf of partizans, or proneursj 
as the French call them ; and by that means his 
work fteals unobferved into the world ; and it is 
fome time before the public, and even men of pe- 
netration, are fenfible of its merit. We take up 
the book with prepoffeffion, perufe it carelefsly, 
are feebly affefted by its beauties, and lay it down 
with neglect, perhaps with difapprobation. 

The public has done fo much juflice to the gen- 
tlemen engaged in the Critical Review as to ac- 
knowledge that no literary journal was ever carried 
on in this country with equal fpirit and impartiality; 
yet I muft confefs that an article, publiflied in your 
Review of 1757, gave me great furprife, and not 
a little uneafinefs. It regarded a book called the 
Epigoniad, a poem of the epic kind, which was 
at that time publiflied with great applaufe at Edin- 
burgh, and of which a few copies had been fent up 
to London. The author of that article had furely 
been lying under ftrong prepoffeiEons, when he 




fpoke fo negligently of a work which abounds in 
fuch fublime beauties, and could endeavour to dif- 
credit a poem, confifling of near fix thoufand lines, 
on account of a few miftakes in expreflion and pro- 
fody, proceeding entirely from the author's being a 
Scotchman^ who had never been out of his own 
country. As there is a new edition publifhed of 
this poem^ wherein all or mod of thefe trivial mif- 
takes are corrected, I flatter myfelf that you will 
gladly lay hold of this opportunity of retracing 
your overfight, and doing juftice to a performance, 
which may, perhaps, be regarded as one 6{ the or- 
naments of our language. I appeal from yourfen- 
tence, as an old woman did from a fentence pro- 
nounced by Philip of Macedon : I appeal from 
philip, ill-counfelled and in a hurry, to Philip well- 
advifed, and judging with deliberation. 

The authority whkh you poflefs with the public 
makes your cenfure fall with weight, and I queftion 
not but you will be the more ready on that account 
to redrefs any injury, into which either negligence, 
prejudice, or miflake, may have betrayed you. 
As I profefs myfelf to be an admirer of this per- 
formance, it will aflford me pleafure to give you a 
fhort analyfis of it, and to colled a few fpecimens of 
thofe great beauties in which it abounds. 

The author, who appears throughout his whole 
work to be a great admirer and imitator of Homer, 
drew the fubjed of this poem from the fourth Iliad, 
where Sthenelus gives Agamemi^ou a Ihort account 

Ee 3 of 


of the facking of Thebes, After the fall of thofe he- 
roes celebrated by Statius, their fons, and among 
the reft Diomede, undertook the fiege of that city, 
and were fo fortunate as to fucceed in their enter- 
prize, and to revenge on the Thebans and the ty- 
rant Creon, the death of their fathers. Thefe 
young heroes were known to the Greeks under the 
title of the Epigoni, or the Defcendants ; and for 
this reafon the author has given to his poem the 
title of Epigoniad ; a name, it muft be con- 
feffed, fomewhat unfortunately chofen : for as this 
particular was known only to a very few of the 
leaned, the public were not able to conjefture 
what could be the fubjed of the poem, and were 
apt to neglect what it was impcffible for them to 

There remained a tradition among the Greeks, 
that Homer had taken this fecond fiege of Thebes 
for the fubject of a poem, which is loft ; and our 
author feems to have pleafed himfelf with the 
thoughts of reWving the work, as well as of tread- 
ing in the foctfteps of his favourite author. The 
adors are moftly the fame with thofe of the Iliad; 
Di.mcde is the hero; Ulyffes, Agamemnon, Me- 
nelaus, Neftor, Idomeneus, Merion, even Ther- 
litcs, all appear in different paflages of the poem; 
and act pjrts fuitable to the lively charafters drawn 
of tri.^m by that great mafter. The whole turn of 
this new pv^em would almoft lead us to imagine, 
that the Sccttilh bard had found the loft manu- 
fcript of that father of poetry, and had made a 



faithful tranflation of it into Englifh. Longinus 
imagines, that the Odyffey was executed by Ho- 
mer in his old age ; we (hall allow the Iliad to be 
the work of his middle age ; and we fhall fuppofe 
that the Epigoniad was the effay of his youth, 
where his noble and fublime genius breaks forth by 
frequent intervals, and gives ftrong fymptoms of 
that conftant flame which diftinguifhed its me- 

The poem confifts of nine books. We fhall 
open the fubjeft of it in the author's own words. 

Ye pow'rs of fong ! with whofe immortal fire 
Your bard mraptur'd fung Pclide s'lre. 
To Greece fo fatal, when in evil hour. 
He brav'd, in ftern debatei the fovereign power ; 
By like example teach me now to fhow 
From love no lefs, what dire difaders flow. 
For when the youth of Greece, by Thcfeiis led, 
Returned to conquer where their fathers bled, 
And puni(h'd guilty Thebes, by heav'o ordained 
For perfidy to fall, and oaths profanM ; 
Venus, Hill partial to the Theban arms, 
Tydcus* fon feduced by female charms ; 
Who, from his plighted faith by pafOon fway'd, 
The chiefs, the army, and himfelf betray'd. 

This theme did once your favourite bard employ, 

Whofc verfe immortalized the fall of Troy ? 

But Time's oblivious gulf, whofe circle draws 

All mortal things by Fate's eternal laws. 

In whofe wide vortex worlds thcmfelvcs arc toft, 

>\nd rounding fwift fucceffively arc loft, 

This fong hath fnatch'd. I now refume the drain. 

Not from proud hope and emulation vain, 

E c 4 By 


By tills attempt to merit equal praiTc 
With worth heroic, born In happier days. 
Socner the weed, that with the fpring appears. 
And in the fummer's heat its blofTom bears. 
But, (hriv'ling at the touch of winter hoar. 
Sinks to its native earth, and is no more ; 
Might match the lofty oak, which long has flood. 
From age to age, the monarch of the wood. 
Hut love excites me, and dtfire to trace 
His glorious ftcps, though with unequal pace. 
Before me ftill 1 fte his awful fhade, 
With garlands crown'd of leaves which never fade; 
H^ points the path to fame, and bids me fcale 
Parnaflus' flippery height, where thoufands fail : 
I follow trembling, for the cliffs are high. 
And hov'ring round them watchful harpies fly, 
To fnatch the poet's wreath with envious claw3> 
And hifs contempt for merited applaufc. 

The poet fuppofes that Caflandra, the daughter 
of the king of Pelignium in Italy, was purfued by 
the love of Echetus, a barbarous tyrant in the 
neighbourhood ; and as her father rejefted his ad- 
dreffes, he drew on himfelf the refentment of the 
tyrant, who made war upon him, and forced him 
to retire into Etolia, where Diomede gave him pro- 
teftion. This hero falls himfelf in love with Caf- 
fandra, and is fo fortunate as- to make equal im- 
preflions on her heart ; but before the completion 
of his marriage, he is called to the fiege of Thebes, 
and leaves, as he fuppofes, Caflandra in Etolia with 
her father. But Caflandra, anxious for her lover's 
fafety, and unwilling to part from the objeft of 
her affections, had fecretly put on a man's habit, 
|iad attended him in the camp, and had fought by 



his fide in all his battles. Meanwhile the fiege of 
Thebes is drawn out to fome length ; and Venus, 
who favours that city, in oppofition to Juno and 
Pallas, who feek its deftruftion, deliberates con- 
cerning the proper method of raifing the fiege. 
The fittefl expedient feems to be the exciting in 
Diomede a jealoufy of Caffandra, and perfuading 
him, that her aflfeftions were fecretly engaged to 
Echetus, and that the tyrant had invaded Etolia 
in purfuit of his miftrcfs : for this purpofe Venus 
fends down Jealoufy, whom the author perfonifies 
under the name of Zelotype. Her perfon and 
flight are painted in the moll fplendid colours that 
poetry affords, 

FiVft to her feet the winged fhocs flic binds, 
^yhich tread the air, and mount the rapid winds ; 
Aloft they bear her through th' etherial plain. 
Above the foh'd earth and h'quid main. 
Her arrows next fhc takes of pointed (leel. 
For fight too fmall, but terrible to feel ; 
Rous'd by their fmart, the (avage lion roars. 
And mad to combat nifli the tufl<y boars ; 
Of wounds fecure ; for where their venom lights. 
What feels their pow'r all other torment flights. 
A figur'd zone, myftcrioufly deHgn'd, 
/\ronnd her waifl her yellow robe confin'd : 
There dark Sufpicion lurk'd, of fable hue; 
There hafty Rage his deadly dagger drew ; 
Pale Envy inly pined ; and by her (ide 
Stood Phrenzy, raging with his chains unty'd. 
Affronted Pride with third of vengeance bum'd, 
And Love's excefs to deepell hatred turn'd. 
All thefe the artill's curious hand exprefs'd. 
The work divine his matchlefs flcill copfcfs'd. 



The virgin laft, around her (houlders flung 

The bow ; and by her fide the quiver hung : 

Then, fpringing up, her airy courfe (he bends 

For Thebes ; and h'ghtly o'er the tents defcends. 

The fon of Tydeus, 'midft his bands, (he found 

In arms complete, repofing on the ground ; 

And, as he ilept, the hero thus addrefs'd, 

Her form to fancy's waking eye exprefs'd« 


Diomede, moved by the inftigations of jealoufy, 
and eager to defend his miftrefs and his country, 
calls an affembly of the princes, and propofes to 
raife the fiege of Thebes, on account of the diffi- 
culty of the enterprize and dangers which furround 
the army, Thefeus, the general, breaks out into 
a paffion at this propofal ; but is pacified by Neftor. 
IJomeneus rifes, and reproaches Diomede for his 
difhonourable counfel ; and among other topics 
upbraids him with his degeneracy from his father's 

Should now, from hence arriv'd, fome warrior's ghoft, 
Gicet valiant Tydeus on the Stygian coaft, 
And tell when danger or diftrefs is near. 
That Diomede perfuades the reft to fear ; 
IIc*d fhun the fynod of the mighty deaJ, 
And liide hxa anguifh in the deepeft fhade : 
Natuie in all an equal courfe maintains; 
The lion*s whelp fucceeds to awe the plains ; 
Pardi gender pards, from tygcrs tygers fpring ; 
No doves are hatched beneath a vulture's wing : 
r.nch parent's image in his offspring lives ; 
Lut nought of Tydeus in hib fon furvives. 

The debate is clofed by Ulyffcs, who informs the 



princes that the Thebans are preparing to march 
out in order to attack them ; and that it is in vain 
for them to deliberate any longer concerning the 
continuance of the war* 

We have next the defcription of a battle be- 
tween the Thebans under Creon, and the confede- 
rate Greeks under Thefeus. This battle is full of 
the fpirit of Homen We (hall not trouble our 
reader with particulars, which would appear infi- 
pid in profe, efpecially if compared to the lively 
poetry of our. author. We fhall only tranfcribe 
one paffage, as a fpecimen of his happy choice of 

Next Areas, Clcon^ valiant Chromius, died ; 
With Dares, to the Spartan chiefs aUIed. 
And Phomius, whom the gods, in early youth. 
Had form'd for virtue and the love of truth ; 
His gen'rous foul to noble deeds they turn'd, 
And love to mankind in his bofom burn'd. 
Cold through his throat the hilling weapon glides. 
And on his neck the waving locks divides. 
His fate the Graces mourn'd. The Gods above. 
Who fit around the ftarry throne of Jove, 
On high Olympus,* bending from the fkics. 
His fate beheld with forrow-ftreaming eyes, 
Pallas, alone, unaltered and fcrene, 
With fccret triumph faw the mournful fccne : 
Not hard of heart ; for none of all the powers, 
In earth or ocean, or th' Olympian towers, 
Holds equal fympathy with human grief. 
Or with a freer hand bedows relief | 
But confcious that a mind by virtue fleel'd, 
^o no imprtfiion of diftrcfs will yield ; 



That, ft ill iinconqucred, in its awful hour 
0*er death it triumphs with immortal powV. 

The battle ends with advantage to the confede* 
• rate Greeks ; but the approach of night prevents 
their total vidory. 

Creon, Kjng of Thebes, fends next an embafly 
to the confederate Greeks, defiring a truce of feven 
dayjJ, in order to bury the dead. Diomede, impa- 
rient to return home, and ftimulated by jealoufy, 
violently oppofes this overture, but is over-ruled by 
the other princes; and the truce is concluded. 
The author, in imitation of Homer, and the other 
ancient poets, takes here an opportunity of defcrib- 
ing games celebrated for honouring the dead. The 
games he has chofen are different from thofe which 
are to be found among the ancients, and the inci- 
dents are new and curious, 

Diomede took no (hare in thefe games : his im- 
patient fpirit could not brook the delay which arofe 
from the truce : he pretends that he confented not 
to it, and is not included in it : he, therefore, pro- 
pofes to his troops to attack the Thebans while they 
arc employed in performing the funeral rites of the 
•lead ; but is oppofed in this defign by Deiphobus, 
his tutor, who reprefents to him in the fevereft 
terms, the raflinefs and iniquity of his propofal. 
AftLr ionic altercation Diomede, impatient of con- 
tradia:^ n in his favourite objed, and ftung by the 
tri^e reproaches of his tutor, breaks out into a vio- 


lent paflion, and throws his fpear at Deiphobus^ 
which pierced him to the hearL 

This incident, which is apt to furprife us, feems 
to have been copied by our author; from that cir- 
cumftance in the life of Alexander, where this 
heroic conqueror, moved by a fudden paflion, ftabs 
Clytus, his ancient friend, by whom iiis life had 
been formerly faved in battle. The repentance of 
Diomede is equal to that of Alexander. No 
fooner had he (truck the fetal blow than his eyes 
are opened : he is fenfible of his guilt and Ihame : 
he refufes all confolation : abftains even from food, 
and fhuts himfelf up alone in his tent. His fol- 
lowers, amazed at the violence of his paflion, keep 
at a diftance from him ; all but Caflandra, r,vho 
enters his tent with a potion, which (he had prepar- 
ed for him. While fhe ftands before him alone, 
her timidity and paflion betray her fex ; and Dio- 
mede immediately perceives her to be CaflTandra, 
who had followed him to the caqip under a war- 
like difguife. As his repentance for the murder of 
Deiphobus was now the ruling paflion in his breaft:, 
he is not moved by tendemefs for Caflfandra ; on 
the contrary, he confiders her as the caufe, how- 
ever innocent, of the murder of his friend and of 
his own guilt ; and he treats her with fuch cold- 
nefs that ftie retires in confufion. She even leaves 
the camp, and refolves to return to her father in 
luolia ; but is taken on the road by a party of 
Thebans, who carry her. to Creon. That tyrant 
determines to make the moft political ufe of this 

incident : 


incident : he fends privately a meffage to Diomede, 
threatening to put Caffandra to death, if that hero 
would not agree to a feparate truce with Thebes. 
This propofai is at firft rejofted by Diomede, who 
threatens immediate deftruction to Creoji, and all 
his race. Nothing can be more artfully managed 
by the poet than this incident. We fhall hear him 
in his own words. 

Sternly the hero- ended, arid reCgn'd 
To fierce diforder, all his mighty mind. 
Already in his thoughts, with vengeful hands. 
He dealt dcflruflioa 'midfl the Theban bands. 
In fancy faw the tottering turrets fall, 
And led his warriors o'er the levellM wall. 
Rous'd with the thought, from his high feat he fprung ; 
And grafp'd the fword, which on a column hung ; 
The (hining blade he balanced thrice in air ; 
His launccs next he view*d, and armour fair. 
When, hanging 'midil the coftly panoply, 
A fcarf embroidered met the hero's eye. 
Which fair Caflandra's fkilful hands had wrought; 
A prefent for htr lord, in fecrct brought, 
That day, when firft he led his martial train 
In arras, to combat on the Theban plain. 
As fome ftrong charm, which magic founds compofe^ 
Sufpends a downward torrent as it flows ; 
Checks in the precipice its headlong courfev 
And calls it trembling upwards to its fourcc : 
Such feem'd the robe, which, to the hero's eyes. 
Made the fair artift in her charms to rife. 
His rage fufpendcd in its full career, 
To love rcfigns, to grie^ and tender fear. 
Glad would he now his former words revoke. 
And chuii^e the purpofc which in wrath he fpoke; 
From hollilc hands his captiva fair to gain. 
From fate to favc her, or the fcrvilc chain : 

8 ut 


But pride and fliame the fond defign fupprefsM ; 
Silent he flood, and lock'd it in his brcaft. 
Yet had the wary Theban well dlvin'd. 
By fymptoms fure, each motion of his mind : 
With joy he faw the heat of rage fupprcfs'd. 
And thus again his artful words addrefs'd. 

The truce is concluded for twenty days ; but the 
perfidious Creon, hoping that Diomede would be 
over-awed by the danger of his miftrefs, refolves to 
furprife the Greeks; and accordingly makes a fud- 
den attack upon them, breaks into their camp, and 
carries every thing before him. Diomede at firft 
ftands neuter ; but when Ulyffes fuggefls to him, 
that, after the defeat of the confederate Greeks, he 
has no fecurity ; and that fo treacherous a prince as 
Creon will not fpare, much lefs rellore, Caflandra, 
he takes to arms, affaults the Thebans, and obliges 
them to feek (belter within their walls. Creon, in 
revenge, puts Caffandra to death, and fliews her 
head over 'the walls. The fight fo inflames Dio- 
mede, that he attacks Thebes with double fury, 
takes the town by fcalade, and gratifies his ven- 
geance by the death of Creon. 

This is a fhort abftrad of the (lory, on which 
the new poem is founded. The reader may, per- 
haps, conjefture (what I am not very anxious to 
conceal) that the execution of the Epigoaiiad is 
better than the defign, the poetry fuperior to 
the fable, and the colouring of the particular parts 
more excellent than the general plan of the whole. 
Of all the great epic poems which have been the 



admiration of mankind, the Jerufalem of Taflb 
alone would make a tolerable novel, if reduced to 
profe, and related without that fplendour of verfi- 
fication and imagery by which it is fupported ; yet, 
in the opinion of many great judges, the Jerufalem 
is the leaft perfed of all thefe productions ; chiefly, 
becaufe it has leaft nature and fimplicity in the 
fentiments, and is moft liable to the objection of 
affedation and conceit. The ftory of ^ poem, 
whatever may be imagined, is the leaft eflential part 
of it ; the force of the verfification, the vivacity of 
the images, the juftnefs of the defcriptions, the 
natural play of the palTions, are the chief circum- 
ftances which diftinguifh the great poet from the 
profaic novelift, and give him fo high a rank among 
the heroes in literature : and I will venture to af- 
firm, that all thefe advantages, efpecially the three 
former, arc to be found, in an eminent degree, in 
the Epigoniad. The author, infpired with the 
true genius of Greece, and fmit with the moft pro- 
found veneration for Homer, difdains all frivolous 
ornaments; and relying entirely on his fublime 
imagination, and his nervous and harmonious ex- 
prefTion, has ventured to prefent to his reader the 
naked beauties of nature, and challenges for his 
partizans all the admirers of genuine antiquity. 

There is one circumftance in which the poet has 
carried his bol Jnefs of copying antiquity beyond the 
praftice of many, even judicious modems. He 
has drawn his perfonages, not only with all the 
fimplicity of the Grecian heroes, but alfo with 



fome degree of their roughnefs, and even of their 
ferocity. This is a circumftance which a mere mo- 
dem is apt to find fault with in Homer, and which, 
perhaps, he will not eafily excufe in his imitator. 
It is certain, that the ideas of manners are fo much 
changed fince the age of Homer, that though the 
Iliad was always among the ancients conceived to 
be a panegric on the Greeks, yet the reader is now 
almoft always on the fide of the Trojans, and is 
much more interefted for the humane and foft 
manners of Priam, Heftor, Andromache, Sarpe- 
don, iEneas, Glaucus, nay, even of Paris and 
Helen, than for the fevere and cruel bravery of 
Achilles, Agamemnon, and the other Grecian he- 
roes. Senfible of this inconvenience, Fenelon, in 
his elegant romance, has foftened extremely the 
harfh manners of the heroic ages, and has content- 
ed himfelf with retaining that amiable fimplicity by 
which thefe ages were diftinguifhed. If the reader 
be difpleafed, that the Britifli poet has not followed 
the example of the French writer, he muft, at 
leaft, allow, that he has drawn a more exaft and 
faithful copy of antiquity, and has made fewer fa- 
crifices of truth to ornament. * 

There is another circumftance of our author's 
choice, which will be liable to difpute. It m ay be j/ 

thought, that by introducing the heroes ttTHomir^* 
he has loft all the charms of novelty, and leads us 
into fiftions, which are fomewhat ftale and thread- 
bare* Boileau, the greateft critic of the French 
nation, was of a very different opinion : 

Ff La 

434 ^1^2 -AND WRITINGS Of 

La fable oflFre a I'efprit miUe agremens diveri 
La tous lea noms heureuz fembient n^s pour let vert t 
UlyflTc, Agamemnon 9 Orcftc, Idomenee^ 
Helene* Menelasi Paris, Hedori £nce. 

It is certain, that there is in that poetic ground 
SI kind of enchantment, which allures every per« 
fon of a tender and lively imagination : nor b» 
this impreflion diminifhed, but rather mlich in* 
creafed, by our early introdu£tion to the know* 
ledge of it in our perulal of the Greek and Latia 

The fame great French critic makes the apo- 
logy of our poet in his ufe of the ancient mytho* 

Ainfi dans cctamasde nobles fidlionsy 

Lc pocte s'cgayc cb mfllc inTcntions, 

OrnCy eleve, erobellit, agrandit toutes chofcs, 

lit trouve fous fa main dcs fleurs toujours edofes. ' 

It would feem, indeed, that if the machinery of 

the heathen gods be not admitted, epic poetfy, at 

lead all the marvellous part of it, mud be entirely 

abandoned* The chriftian religion, for many rea- 

^^ fons, is imfit for the fabulous ornaments of poetry ; 

ihe introdufhion of allegor}', after the manner of 
YoltaSre^jis liable to many objedions ; »ad though 
a mere hiftorical epic poem, like Leonidts, tdAf 
have its beauties, it will always be inferior to the 
force and pathos of tragedy, and mult refiga ta 
that fpecies of poetry, the precedency which, the 



BAVlU Htf ME^ APPENDIX, NOi it* 43 J 

jFormer compofition has always challenged among 
the prodiidions of human genius. But with regard 
to thefe partitulars, the author has himfelf made a 
fufiicient apology in the judicious and fpirited pre« 
face which accompanies his poem; 

But though our poet has, in genetal, followed 
fo fuccefsfully the footfteps of Homer, he has, m 
particular paflages, chofen o^her ancient poets fo:i^ 
his model. His feventh book contains an epifode^ 
Very artfully inferted^ concerning the death of Her- 
cules.; where he has |>lamly had Sophocles in his 
view, and has ventured to engage in a rivalfhip 
with that great mafter of the tragit fcene* If the 
fublirhity of out poet's imagination, and the energy 
of his ftyle^ appear any wher^ confpicuouis, it is in 
this epifode, which we fhall not fcruple to compare 
with any pOetry ill the Englifh language. Nothing 
can be more patjietic than the complaintis of Hcr-^ 
cules, when the poifon of th^^ntaur's tohe begini 
firft to prey upon him* 

Sovereign oF heliveivMid earth \ whcfe boundleft Tway 

The fatts of men and Aoital things obey 1 

tf e'er delighted from the courts &boVe» 

tn human form, you fought Alcmcna^s Iotc ; 

If fame*s unchanging voice to all th^ tarth» 

With truth, proclaims you author of my birth | 

Wbence, from a courfe of fpotlefs glory JM»H 

Buccefsful toils and wreaths of triumph mm^ 

Am I thus wretched ? Better, that befc^ 

JBome monfter fierce had drunk my ftrea^ing gote ) 

Or cruihM by Cacus, foe to Cods and oneni 

|f / baucr'd braiot had tlrew'd hit rocky den : \ 

Ff a* . tUti^ 





Than, from my glorious toils and triumphs pad. 
To fall fubdu'd hy female arts, at lafl. 
O cool my boiling blood, ye winds, that blow 
From mountains loaded with eternal fnow, 
And crack the icy cliffs : in vain ! in vaiiv ! 
Your rigour cannot quench my raging pain ! 
For loimd this heart the furies wave thtir brands, 
•And wring my entrails with their burning h ^nds. 
Now bending from the (kics. O wife of Jove f 
Enjoy the vengeance of thy injnr'd love : 
For fate, by me, the Thund'itr'^ guilt atone«# 
And punifh*d in her fon Alcmcna groacs. 
The objeft of your hate (hall foon expire ; 
Fix'd on my (lioulders preys a net of fire : 
Whom nor the toils nor dangers could fubduCy 
By fftlfe Euryftheus didated from yuu ; 
Nor tyrants lawleb, nor the mondrous br«od. 
Which haunts the dcfert or infclis the flood. 
Nor Grecee> nor all the barb'rous climes that lie 
Where Phcebus ever points his golden eye ; 
A wotnan has o'trthrown ! ye Gods ! I yield 
To female arts, unconqucr'd in the field. 
My arms— alas 1 ai-e ihefc the fame that bow'd - 
' Antaus, and his giant force fubdu'd ? 
That dragg'd Ncmea's mouder from his den ; 
And flew the dragon in his native fen ? 
Alas, alas ! their mighty mufcles fail. 
While pains internal cv'ry nerve affail. 
Alafi, alas ! I feel in dreams of woe 
Thcfe eyes diflblv'd, before untaught to flow. 
A wake my virtue, oft in dangers try 'd. 
Patient in toils. In deaths unttrrify'd : 
Roufe to my aid ; nor let my labours pad, 
Widrkfl^e atchieved, be blotted by the lad : 
Firm and^inmovM, the pre(ent (hock endure. 
Once triuviph, and forever red fecure. 

Our poet, though his genius be in many re- 
fpcAs very original, has not difdained to imitate 





even modem poets. He has added, to his heroic 
poem a dream, in the manner of Spencer, where 
the poet fuppofes himfelf to be introduced to Ho- 
mer, who cenfures his poem in fome particulars, 
and excufes it in others. This poem is, indeed, a 
fpccies of apology for the Epigoniad, wrote in a 
very lively and elegant manner : it may be com- 
pared to a well-poliflied gem, of the pureft water, 
and cut into the mofl beautiful form. Thofe who 
would judge of our author's talents for poetry, 
without perufing his larger work, may fatisfy their 
curiofity, by running over this fliort poem. They 
will fee the fame force of imagination and har- 
mony of numbers, which diftinguifti his longer 
performance ; and may thonce, with fmall applica- 
tion, receive a favourable impreffion of our author's 


Ko. 1:1. 

•■'■■' ^ ' 

No. III. 



<t3Ti s'est ihivi entsb 




(Tiree de la SupplemeDt a la Colledlion des Ouvrrs ^ J* J. ' 
Rouflcauy Litoycn de Gencre^ tome 39 qui forme tome I4f*' * 
de mime CoUedioo. ImprimI a GencTe^ 1782.) / 






E D I T E U R S, 

JLE nom & les Ouvrages <Je M. Hujne font connus 
depuis longtemps de toute I'Europe: ceux qui 
connoiflent fa perfonne, ont vu en lui des mccurs 
douces & fimples, beaucoup de droiture, de can- 
deur & de bonte ; & la moderation de fon carac- 
Itere fe peint dans fes ecrits. 

II a employe les grands talens qu*il a refus de la 
nature & les lumieres qu'il a acquifes par Tetude, 
a chercher la verite & a infpirer Tamour des 
hommes ; jamais il n'a prodigue fon temps & com- 
promis fon repos dans aucune querelle, ni Ltteraire 
ni perfonnelle. II a vu cent fois fes etcrits cen- 
fures avec amertume par la fanatifme, Tignorance 
& Tefprit de parti^ fans avoir jamais repondu a un 
feul de fes adverfaires. 

Ceuk meme qui ont attaque fes Ouvrages avec 
ie plus de violence ont toujours refpede fon carac- 
tere. Son amour pour la paix eft fi connu, qu'on 
kii a plus d'une fois apporte des cridques faites 



frontre lui-meme, pour le prier de les revoir & de 
les corriger. On lui remit un jour une critique de 
ce genre, ou il etoit traite d*une maniere fort dure, 
& meme injurieufe : il le fit remarquer i T Auteur, 
qui efia9a les injures en rougiflant & en admirant la 
force de Vefprit poUmique qui Tavoit ainfi emporte, 
lans qu'il s^en apper^ut, aii-dela de3 bomes de 

Avec des difpofitions fi pacifiques, ce n'eft qu'a- 
vec une extreme repugnance que M, Hume a pu 
conf/ntir a laiffer paroitre Tecrit qu*on va lire, H 
jait que les querelles des gens de lettres font le 
icar.dale de la philofophie, & perfonne n'^it 
moind fait que lui pour donner un pareil fcandale, 
ii confblant pour les fots ; mais les circonllancet 
Tont entraine malgre lui a cet eclat facheux^ 

Tout le monde fait que M. Rouffeau, profcrit de 
tous les lieux qi^'il avoit habitcs, s'etoit enfin deter- 
mine a fe retugier en Angleterre, & que M* HumCf 
touche de fa fituation & de fes malheurs, s'etoit 
charge de Ty conduire, & etoit parvenu a lui pro* 
curer un afyle fur, commode & tranquille. Mais 
pcu - ^t" gens favent combien de chaleur, d'adlivit^, 
de delicateife meme M. Hume a mis dans cet a£le 
de bienfaifance ; quel tendre attachement il avoit 
pris pour ce nouvel Ami, que Thumaniie lui avoit 
donne ; avec quelle adrefTe il cherchoit a prif venir 
fes befoins, fans bleffer fon amour-propre; avec 
quel zele enfin il s'occupoit a juftifier aux yeux dey 
autres les fingularit^s de M. Rouifeau, & \ defen- 




dre fon caradere centre ceux qui n*en jugeoient pas 
aufli favorablement que lui. 

Dans le terns meme que M. Hume travailloit i 
rendre a M. Rouffeau le fervice le plus effentiel, 
il re9ut de lui la lettre la plus outrageante. Plus 
le coup etoit inattendu, plus il devoit etre fenfible, 
M. Hume lecrivit cette aventure a quelques-uns 
de fes amis a Paris ; & il s'exprima dans fes 
lettres avec toute I'indignation que lui infpi- 
roit un fi Strange procedc. II fe crut difpenfe 
d'avoir aucun menagement pour un homme, qui 
apres avoir re9u de lui les marques d'amitie les plus 
conftantes & les moins equivoques, Tappelloit, 
}fnoti&, faux, traitre, & le plus mechant des hommes. 

. Cependant le d^mele de ces deux hommes c6l6^ 
bres ne tarda pas a eclater. Les plaintes de M. 
Hume parvinrent bientot a la connoiflance du pub- 
lic, qui eut d'abord de la peine a croire que M. 
Roufleau fiit coupable de I'excds d'ingl^titude dont 
on I'accufoit^ Les amis meme de M« Hume craig- 
Birent que dans un premier moment de fenfibilit^, 
il ne fe fflt laifle emporter trop loin, & qu'il n'edt 
pris pour les dif fauts du coeur les d^lires de I'imagi- 
nation, ou les travers de l^efprit. II crut devoir 
cclaircir cette aflGsiire, en ecrivant un precis de tout 
ce qui s'etoic pafTe entre lui & M. Rouflfeau, depuis 
leur liaifon jufqu'a leur rupture. II envoya cet 
ecrit a fes amis; quelques- uiis lui confeillerent de 
le faire imprimer, en lui difa^t que fes accufations 
^ontre M» Rouflea^ etaot devenues publiques, les 




preuves devoient Petre aufli. M. JIume ne fe ren- 
dit pas a ces raifons, & aima mieux courir le rifque 
d'un jugcmcnt injuflo, que de fe rclbudrc a un eclat 
fi contraire a fon caj^adere; niais un nouvel inci- 
dent a vaincu fa rtliftance. 

M. Rouffeau a adrefle a un libraire de Paijs 
une lettre, ou il accufe fans detour IVL Hume de 
s'ttre ligue' avec fes ennemis pour le trahir & le dif- 
famer,H&: ou il le dcfie hautement de fair imprimer les 
pieces qu'il a eiitre les mains. Cette lettre a etc com- 
muniquce, a Paris, a ua trcs-grand nombre de per- 
fonnes ; elle a etc traduite en Anglois, & la traduc- 
tion eft imprimee dans les papiers de Londres. Une 
accufation & un defi fi publics ne pouvoient refter 
fans reponfe ; & un plus long filence de la part de 
M. Ilumc auroit ue interprets u'uue maqicre peu 
favorable pourlui. f 

D'ailleurs, la nouvelle de cc dcmclc s'eft repajj* [ 
due dans toute TEuropc, 5: I'on en a porte desjl 
j\igemens fort divers. II feroit plus heureux fa|i^. > 
doute que toute c^tte affaire eut etc enfeveUe daQ^'i 
un pro fond fecrct ; mais puifqu^on n'a pu eii^ ;: 
pecher Ic public de s*en occuper, il faut du moins - 
qu*il fache a quoi s*en tenir. Les amis de M. 
Hume fe font rounis pi»ur lui reprcTcntcr toutes CtS 
riii;bns. 11 a fenti l.i ncct^fii;e' (i'en vciiir enfia a 
une extrtmitc qu'il redoulcitfi fort, &: a confentl a 
liiiffjr imprimer fon mc'-icire. C'cft Touvrage 
que nous donnons ici. Le Kcit & les roles font 
traduits de TAnglois. Les letties de M. Roufl'eau, 



qui fervent de pieces juftificatives aux faits, font 
des copies exaftes des originaux. 

Cette brochure ofFrira des traits de bizarerie affez 
ctranges a ceux qui prendront la peine de la lire ; 
mais ceux qui ne s'en foucieront pas feront encore 
mieux ; tant ce qu'elle renferme importe peu a 
ceux qui n'y font pas intcrefles. 

Au refte, M. Hume, en livrant au public les 
pieces de fon proces, nous a autorifes a declarer 
qu'il ne rq^rendra jamais la plume fur ce fujet. M. 
Rouflfeau peut revenir a la charge ; il peut pro- 
duire des fuppofitions, des interpretations, des in- 
dudions, des declamations nouvelles ; il peut crcer 
& realifer de nouveaux phantomes & envelopper 
tout ceia des nuages de fa rhctoriquej il ne fera 
plus cpntredijt. Tous les faits font aduellement 
fous les yeux du public. M. Hume abandonne fa 
caufe au jugement des efprits droits & des coeurs 


44^ LIVE AM0 Writing* of 


JVlA liaifon atec M. Roufleau Commeti^a en lySii 
lorfqu'il fut dccretc de prife de corps, i Poccafion 
de fon Emilej par un arret du Parlement de Paris. 
J'etpis alors i Edinbourg. 0ne perfonne de m€j^ 
rite m'ecrivit de Paris que M« Roufleaa atroit le def-* 
fein de pafler en Angleterre pour y chercher uil 
afyle, & me demanda mes bons offices piour lui^ 
Comme je fuppofai que M. Roufleau avoit ex£cut£ 
cette refotudon, j'^crivis a plufieur^ de mes amis si 
Londres, pour leur reCommander ce c^ebre eacile, 
& je lui ecriyis a lui-m£me pour raflurer de tnoxi 
zele & de mon empreflement ^ le fervii*! le VkaU 
tois en meme temps a venir it Bldinbourg, fi ce 
fejour pouvoit lui convenir, & je lui ofirois unef 
retraite dans ma maifon pour tout le temps <|a'ii 
daigneroit la partager avec moi. Je n^avois pas be^ 
foin d'autre motif pour etre excite a cet a£ke d^hu«. 
manite, que I'idee que m'avoit donnee du carafteref 
de M. Roufleau la perfonne qui me Taroit recom^ 
mandc, & la celebritd de fon genie, de fes talens^ 
& fur-tout de fes malheurs, dont la caufe meme 
etoit une raifon de plus pour s'intereffer i Iti* 
Voici la rcponfe que je r^s. 


. * • • ■ ^ .- 

hAYlD tlVHE^ APP£KDIZ» KO. III« 447 

M. Rousseau a M. Humb« 

jf MotUn^TravirSf It ig Fevrler 176J. 

** je n*ai re9U qu'ici, Monfieur, & depuis pea, 
la lettre dont vous m'honoriez i Londres^ le a 
Juillet dernier^ fuppofant que j'etois dans cette ca^ 
pitale. C'etoit fans doute dans votre nation^ & le 
plus pr^s de vous qu'il m'eikt etc poffible* que 
j'aurots cherche ma retraite, fi j'avous prtvu l^ac*- 
cueil qui m'attendoit dans ma patrie. II n'y avoit 
qu*elle que je puffe prcferer a I'Angleterre, & cette 
prevention^ dont j'ai etc trop puni, m'ctoit alom 
bien pardonnable ; mais, a mon grand etonnement, 
h meme al celui du public, je n'ai trouve que des 
affronts & des outrages oil j'efperois, fmon de la 
reconnoiflance, au moins des confolations. Que 
de chofes m'ont fair regretter Tafyle & i'hofpitalite 
philofophique qui m'attendoient pres de vous! - 
Toutefoi^ mes malheurs m'en ont toujours rap- 
proche en quelque maniere. La prote£tion & les 
bontcs de Mylord Marefchal, votre illuftre & digae 
compatriote, m*ont feit trouver, pour ainfi dire, 
TEcoiTe au milieu 4e la SuifTe ; il vous a rendu prc- 
fent % nos entretiens ; il m'a fait faire avec vos ver- 
tus k connoiflance que je n'avois faite encore qu*a- 
vec vos talens j il m'a infpirc la plus tendre amitic 
pour Vftot h le plus ardent defir d'obteni]? la v6rre, 
avant que je fufle que vous cdez difpofe a %e Wc^ 
cordeh Jogez, quand je trouve ce penchaiitT^ci- 
proque, cbnl|)ien j'aurois de plaifir a m*y livrer ! 
Non, Monfieur, je ne vous rendois que la fcoitie 

V. de 

I' - 

- ■ "> 


de ce qui vous etoit dA, quand je n'avois pour vous 
que de l*admiration. Vos grandes vues, votre 
ctonnante impartialite, votre genie, vous cleveroient 
trop au-deiTus des hommes fi votre bon coeift* ne 
vous en rapprochoit, Mylord Marefchal, en m*ap- 
prenant a vous voir encore plus aimable que Jub- 
lime, me rend tous les jours votre commerce plus 
deCrable, & nourrit en moi Tempreffement qu*il m'a 
fait naitre de finir mcs jours pres de vous- Mon- 
fieur, qu'unc meilleurc fante, qu'une fituation plus 
commode ne me met-elle a portee de faire ce 
voyage comme je Ic dcTirerois! Que ne puis-je 
cfpcrer de nous voir un jour raflemblcs* avec Mylord 
dans votre commune patrie, qui devicndroit la 
mienne ! Je bcnirois dans une focictc fi douce les 
malheurs par lefquels j*y fus conduit, & je croirois 
n'avoir commence de vivre que du jour qu'elle aa- 
roit commence. Puiffe-je voircet heurVux jour 
plus dtfir J qu'efp'^'rc ! Avec quel tranfport je 
m*rcricTois vn touchant Theureufe terre ou font nt5 
David Hume & le Marefchal d'Ecpfle : 

Salvf.fiihsmihldchUittelMs! , 

}Iac Jornui, b£C patr'ui tjf, 

J. J.Tl- 

Ce nVfl: point par vanit^ que je public cette let- 
tre ; car je vais bientot mettre au jour une retrac- 
tation de tous CCS tloges; c'eft feuleraent pour 
completter la luitc dc notre correfpondance & pour 
faire voir qu'il y a longtcmps que j'ai etc difpofc a 
rendre fervice a M. Roufleau. 

^ Notre 


Notre commerce avoit entierement cefle jufqu'au 
milieu de l*cte dernier (1765) lorfque la circon- 
ftance fuivaate le renouyella. •Une'^efft)nne qui 
s'intereffe a M. Roufleau, ctant alle'e faire un 
voyage dans une des provinces de France qui avoifi- 
nent la Suifle^ profita de cette occafion po'ur rendre 
vifite au Philofophe folitaire, dans fa retraite a Mq« 
tiers-Travers. II dit a cette perfonne que le fcjour 
de Neufchatel lui deveooit .tres-dcfagreable, tant par 
la fuperitition du peuple que par la rage dont lea 
prctres ctoient animes contre lui ; qufil craignoit 
d'etre bientot dans la neceflite d'aller chercher un 
afyle ailleurs, & que dans ce cas I'Angleterre lui 
paroiflbit, par la nature de fes loix & de fon gou*' 
vemement, le feul endroit ou il pdt trouver una 
retraite aiTuree : il ajduta que Mylord Marefchal| 
fon ancien Protedeur^ lui avdt conCdlle de fe met* 
tre fous ma prtaedton (c'eft le terme dont il voulut 
bien fe fervir); & qu'en confequence il etoit difpofe 
a s'adrefler a moi, s'ilcroyoit ^uecela ne me don* 
neroit pas trop d'embarras. 

J^etcHs alors charge des Afiaires d'Angletei^^ 
la Cour de France i mais comme j'avois la pS- 
fpe£tive de retoumer bient6t a Londres, je ne re^ 
jettai point une propofidon qui m'etoit £gdte dans de 
femblables drconftances .par un homme que fon 
genie & fes malheurs avoient rendu celebre. Des 
que je fus informe de la fituation & des intentions 
de M. Roufleau^- je lui ecrivis poiur lui offrir mes 
fervicesy & il me fit la r6ponfe fuivante. 

G g M. RoussEAV 

454 Lltl ANfi >^MTINdS or 


A Sirt^bow^y k 4 Dictmbn^ I'jSg. 

c^Vos bontes, Mbnfieur^ me peaetrent autiat 
^oMIes m'faonorent. La plus digne re{x>nfe que 
je puiffe faire ^ vos offres> eft de les accqiter, & 
je les accepte. Je paitirai dans cinq cm fix jouxte 
pour afler me jetter entre vos bras. C'eft le cob« 
fell de 'Mylord Marefchal^ mon protefteur^ mon 
ami, mon pere ; c^eft celui de Madame de * * % 
^ dont la bienveillance cclairce me g^uide atttant 
qu'elie me confole ; enfin, jWe dire que c'eft celui 
de laaa coeur qui fe plait a devoir beaucoup an 
plus itluftre de mes contemporains, dont la bontc 
larpafle la gloire« Je foupire apr^s une retrait* 
folitaire & libre o^ je puifle finir mes jours en pads* 
&i vos foins bienfaifans me la procurent, je jouind 
tout enfemble & du feul bieii que mon coetur de« 
fire^ & du plaifir de le tenir de vous* Je vous 
falue, Monfieur, de tout mon coeur.'* 

J. J^ R. 

Je n'avois pas attenda ce moment pour m'occcii> 
per des moyens d'etre utile a M. Roufleau. M* 
Clairaut, quelqoes feman^ avant fa mort, la^avoit 
communique la lettre fuivante. 

* La perfoone que M Rouflcrau ooxnoiQ id m csig^ qu'cm. 

fupprimat fon nom. AW Jet £t&Uur*, 

w ' M. RoUfS£AV 


M. Rousseau A M. Clairaut. 

Dt Moiuri'Traveri, k 3 MatVf 176$. 

^ Le fouvenir, Monfieur, de vos anciennes bon* 
tes pour moi vous caufe une nouveUe importuni^ 
dt ma part* II s*agiroit du Youloir bien £tre, pour 
la fecoiide fois, cenfeur d*un de mes ouvragesw 
C'eft une tre&^mauvaife rapfodie que j'ai compilee 
U y a pluiieurs aimces, fous le nom de DtiHonmurt 
de Mufique^ & que je fuis force de donper aujour-< 
d*hui pour avoir du pain. Dans le. torrent des 
malheurs qui m'entraine, je fuis hors d'etat de re- 
voir ce Tecueil. Je fak qu'il eft plein d'erreurs & 
de bevues. Si qudqu'interet pour le fort du plus 
malheureux des hommes vous portoit a voir fon 
ouvrage avec un peu plus d'attention que celui 
d'une autre, je vous ferois fenfiblement oUige dc 
toutes les &utes que vous voudriez bien corriger 
cbemin failant. Les indiquer fans les corriger ne 
faroit rien faire, car je fuis abfolument hors d'etat 
d'y doni^er la moindre attention, & (i vous daignes 
en ufer comme de votre bien, pour changer, ajou« 
ter, ou r^trancher, vous exercerez une charite tr^ 
utile & dont je ferai tr^reconnoiflant. Recevez, 
Monfieur, mes tr^humbles excufes & mes iiduta^ 


h §. K. 

Je le dis avec r^ret, mais je fuis force de fe ifira: 
je fais aujourd'hui avec certitude que cette affedlu 
A>n de itUfelPjS ft de pauvrete extreme, n'eft qu'une 

Gg a petite 

451 i^if^ AND WRITINGS OF 

petite charlatanerie que M. Rouflfeau emploie avec 
fucccs pour fe rendre plus intcreilant & exciter la 
comuiiferation du public ; niais j'etois bien loin de 
foup^oRDer alors un femblable artifice. Je fentis 
s'elever dans men cccur un mouvement de pitie, 
mele d'indignation, en imaginant qu'un homme de 
lettres, d'un merite fi eminent, etoit reduit, malgre la 
fimplicite de fa manicre de vivre, aux demieres ex- 
tremites de Tindigence, & que cet ctftt matheureux 
etoit encore aggrave par la maladie, par l*approche 
de la vieillefle, & par la rage implacable de^ dcvots 

Je favois que plufleurs perfonnes attribuoient 
Tctat facheux ou fe trouvcrit M. Roufleau, a fon or- 
gueil extreme qui lui avoit fait refufer les fecours de 
fes amis ; mais je crus que ce defaut, fi c*en etoit un, 
etoit un defaut refpeSablc. Trop de gens de let- 
tres ont avili leur caraftere en s'abaiffant a folliciter 
les fecours d'hommes riches ou puiflans, indignes 
de les proteger ; & je croyois qu*un noble orgueil, 
quoique porte a I'exces, meritoit de I'indulgence 
dans un homme de genie qui, foutenu par le fenti- 
ment de fa propre fuperioritc & par Tamour de Pin- 
dependance, . bravoit les outrages de la fortune & 
L'infolence des hommes. Je me propofai done de 
fervir M. Rouffeau a fa maniere. Je priai M, Clair- 
aut de me donner fa lettre, & je la fis voir a plu- 
fieurs des amis & des protedeiirs que M. Roufleau 
avoit i Paris. Je leur propofai un arrangement 
par lequel on pouvbit procurer des fecours a M. 
Rouffeau fans, qu'il s'en dout^« C'etoit d'engager 

1? le 



le llbraire qui fe chargeroit de fon Didionnaire de 
Mujique a lui en donner une fomme plus confidcr- 
able que celle qu*il en auroit offerte de lui-mcme, 
& de rembourfer cet excedent au libraire. Mais 
ce projet, pour l*execurion duquel les foins de M. 
Clairaut ctoient neceflaires, cchoua par la mort in- 
opinee de ce profond & eltimable favant. 

Comme je confenrois toujours^ la mcme idee de 
I'extreme pauvrete de M. Roufleau, je conferva! 
aufli la meme difpofition a Tobliger, &, des que je 
fus affure de ^intention oii il etcit de pafler en Aa- 
gleterre fous ma conduite, je formai le plan d'un 
artifice a-peu-prcs femblable a celui que je n'avois 
pu executer a Paris. J'ecrivis fur le champ a mon 
ami, M. Jean Stewart, de Buckingham-Street, que 
j'avois une afFsure a lui communiquer, d'une nature 
fi fecrete & fi delicate que je n'ofois meme la con- 
fier au papier, mais qu'il en apprendroit les details 
de M. Elliot (aujourd*bui le Chevalier Gilbert El- 
liot) qui devoit bientot retoumer de Paris a Lonr 
dres, . 

Voici ce plan, que M. Elliot eommuniqua en 
eflPet quelque temps aprcs a M. Stewart, en lui re- 
commandant le plus grand fecret. M. Stewart der 
voit chercher dans le voifinage de fa maifon de cam* 
pagne quelque fermier honnete & difcret qui vou- 
l^t fe charger de loger & nourrir M. Roufleau & 
fa gouvemante, & leur foumir abondamment 
toutes les commodites dont ils auroient befoin, moy- 
^miant une penfion, que M. Stewart pouvoit por« 

Gg3 tcr 


ter jufqu*a cinquante ou foixante livres * fterlingi 
par an ; mais le Fermier devoit s'engager a garder 
exaftement le fecret & a ne recevoir de M. Rout 
feau que vingt ou vingt-ciuq Uvres (lerlings par aii» 
ft je lui aurok teuu compte du furplus. 

M. Stewart m'ccrivit bientot apres qu'il avoit 
trouve une habitation qu*il croyoit convenable ; ]e 
}e prxai de faire meubler rappartement, a mes frais, 
d'une n:ianiere propre ic commode. Ce plan> dans 
lequel il n'entroit afiurement aucun motif de vanite^ 
puifque le fecret en faifoit une condition n^ceffaire, 
n'eut pas lieu,' parce qu'il fe prefenta d'autres ar<i 
rangemens plus compiodes & plus agreables. Tout 
ce fait eft bien connu de M* Stewart ^ du Cheviu 
lier Gilbert Elliot, 

II ne fera peut*etre pas hors de propos de parler 
ici d'un autre arrangement que j'avois concert^ 
dans les memes intentions, J'avois accompj^e 
M. Roufleau a une campagne tres-agrcab|ei ^hns 
le Comte de Surry, ou nous pafsames deux jours 
chez le Colonel Webb. M. Rouffeau me parut 
qpris des beaut€s naturelles & folitaires de cet en-, 
droit. Auffi-tot, par IVntremife de M. Stewart, 
j'entrai en inarche avec le Colonel Webb, pour 
^heter ft maifon avec un petit bien qui y appayfe* 
^oit, afin d'en fisdre une ctablifiement pour M* 
{Lou^eau, Si, aprcs ce qui s'eft paC^', il y avoi( 

* La litre fterlin^jr ^au^ CD f iron 92 11 v. los. it notre 




, DAVID KUM£, APP'^HDIX, l?Qi III. 45^ 

de la furete a dter le temoignage de M. Roufleau 
fur quelque. fait, j'en appellerois a lui-m8me pour 
la V rite de ceux que j'avrance. Quoiqu*il en foit, 
ils font connus de M. Stewart, du General Clarke 
& en partie du Colonel Webb. 

Je vais reprendre mon recit ou je I'ai interrom- 
pu. M. Roufleau vint a Paris, muni d'un pafle- 
port que fes amis avoient obtenu. Je le conduifis 
en Angleterre. Pendant plus de deux n>ois, j'em- 
ployai tous mes foins & ceux de mes amis pour 
trouver quelqu'arrangement qui p6t lui convenir. 
On fe pretoit a tous fes caprices ; on excufoit toutes 
fes fmgularites ; on fatisfaifoit toutes fes fantaitles j 
on n'cpargna enfin ni temps ni complaifance pour lui 
procurer ce qu'il defiroit ; &, quoique plufieurt des 
projets que j'avois formes pour fon ctabliflement 
eulTent etc rejettes, je me trouvois aflez rccompenfi 
de mes peines par la reconnoiflance & la tendrefle 
meme dont il paroifibit recevoir mon zele & met 
bons offices. 


Enfin on lui propofa I'arrangement auquel il eft 
aujourd'hui fixe. M. Davenport, gentilhomme dif* 
tingue par fa naifTance, fa fortune and fon merite^ 
lui a ofTert une maifon, appellee Wootton, quHl a 
dans le Comte de Derby, & qu*il habite rarement ; 
tc M. Roufleau lui paie pour lui & pour fa gouver*^ 
nante une modique penfion. 

D(s que M. Roufleau fut arriv^ ^ Wootton, il 
m'ecrivit la kttre fuivante. 

6 g 4 M. RovsiiAtr 


M. Rousseau A M. Hum£« 

ji Wootton, le 22 Martt 1 766* 

** Vous voyez dcja, mon cher patron, par la 
date de ma lettre, que je fuis arrive au lieu de ma, 
deftination. Mais vous ne pouvez voir tous les 
charmes que j*y trouve; il faudroit coimoitre le 
lieu & lire dans mon coeur. Vous y devez lire au 
moins les fentimens qui vous regard ent & que vous 
avez li bien merites. Si je vis dans cct agr^able 
afyle auffi heureux que je l*efpere, une des douceurs 
de ma vie fera de penfer que je vous les dois. 
Faire une horame heureux c*eft mcriter de Petre. 
Puiffiez-vous trouver en vous-mcme le prix d;i tout 
ce que vous avez fait pour moi ! Seul, j'aurois pu 
trouver de rhofpitalite, peut-etre ; mais je ne Tau- 
rois jamais aufli bieii goutee qu*en la tenant de vo- 
tre amitic'. Confcrvez-Ia moi toujours, mon cher 
patron, aimez-moi pour moi qui vous dois tant; 
pour vous-meme; aimez-moi pour le bien que vous 
m*avez fait, Je fens tout le prix de votre (incere 
amitie j je la defire ardemment ; j*y vcux repondre 
par toute la mienne, & je fens dans mon coeur de 
quoi vous convaincre un jour qu'elle n'eft pas nori 
plus fans quelque prix. Copime, pour des raifons 
dont nous avons parle, jc ne veux rien recevoir 
par la pofte, je vous prie, lorfque vous ferez la 
bonne oeuvre de m'ecrire, de remettre votre lettre 
a M. Davenport. L'afFaire de ma voiture n'eft pas 
arrangce, parce que je fais qu'on ra*en a impofe : 
c'efl: une petite faute qui pent n'etre que I'ouyrage 
d'une vanitc obligeante, qiisuid elle W fenent pas 

* deux 


deux fois. Si vous y avez trempc, je vous con. 
feille de quitter vaUf fois pour toutes ces petites 
rufes qui ne peuvent avoir un bon principe quand 
elleis fe toument en pieges contre la fimplicite. Je 
vous embraffe, mon cher patron, avec le meme 
ceeur que j*efpere & defire trouver en vous.'* 

J. J. R. 

Peu de jours apr^s, je re5us de lui une autre let* 
tre dont void la copie. 

M. Rousseau A M. Hume. 

j4 WocHon^ le 29 Mars, 1766. 

** Vous avez vu, mon cher patron, par la lettre 
que M. Davenport a du vous remettre, combien je 
me trouve ici place felon mon gout. Ty ferois 
peut-etre plus a mon aife (i Von y avoit pour moi 
moins d*attentions ; mais les foins d'un fi galant 
homme font trop obligeans pour s'en facher ; &» 
comme tout eft mele d'inconveniens dans la vie, 
celui d'etre trop bien eft un de ceux qui fe tolerent 
le plus aifement. J'en trouve un plus grand a ne 
pouvoir me faire bien entendre des domeftiques, ni 
fur-tout entendre un mot de ce qu'ils me diient. 
Heureufement Mademoifelle le Vaffeur me fert d'in- 
terprete, & fes doigts parlent mieux que ma langue. 
Je trove meme a mon ignorance un avantage qui 
pourra faire compenfation, c'eft d'ecarter les oifi£i 
en les ennuyant. J'ai eu hier la viiite de M. le Mi« 
niftre qui, voyant que je ne lui parlois que Fran* 
^ois, n'a pas voala me parler Angbis; de forte que 



45^ ^1'^ AKD WJIITIHQ»I Of 

Pentrevue s'efl paflee a-pt u-pr^ fws met 4iiWf 
J'ai pris gout a Inexpedient ; i|b m'en fervirai avef 
tous mes voifins, li j'en ai, & dufle-je apprendrf 
FAnglois, je ne leur parlerai que Franfois, fur-tovt 
fi j'ai le bonheur qu*ils n'en fachent pas w m^U 
C'ed ^peuppr^s la rufe dea iuigea qui, di&Qt )f$ 
negreSy ne veulent pas parler quoiqu'ils le puiflient^ 
de peur qu'on ne les fafie travaillen 

** U n'eft point vrai du tout que je fois eonvenu 
avec M. Goffet de recevolr un inodele en prcfent, 
Au cont;raire, je lui en demandai le prix, qu'il me 
dit etre d'une guinee & demie, ajoutant qu'il m'en 
vouloit faire la galanterie, ce que je n'ai point ao* 
teptc* Je vous prie done de vouloir bien lui payer 
ie Hiodele en queftion, dont M. Davenport aura la 
bonte de vous rembourfen S*il n*y confent pas, 
il faut le lui rendre & le faire acheter par une autre 
main. II eft deftine pour M. du Peyrou qui depuis 
long-temps d^fire avoir mon portrait & en a fait 
faire un en miniature qui n'eft point du tout reflem* 
blant. Vous ites pourvu mieux que lui^ mais je 
futs fache que vous m'ayez 6te par une diligence 
iuffi fiatteufe le plaifir de remplir le tneme devoir 
envers vous. Ayez la bonte, mon cher patron, de 
faire remettre ce modele ^ MM. Guinand ^ Hsm 
keyj Little St. Hellenes Bifiopfgate-Street^ pour PeBu 
voyer a M* du Peyrou par la premiere occaiion 
fare. II gSle ici depuis que j'y fuis : il a neige tous 
lee jours: le vent coupe le vifage; malgre oela* 
f aimerois mieux habiter le trou d*un des lapina de 
ceite garenne que le plus bel appartement de ^m^ 



dres. Bon jour, mon cher patron, je vous em* 
braffe de tout mon coeur.'* 

J. J« K.« 

Comme nous etions convenus, M. RoufTeau & 
ihoi, de ne point nous gener V\m I'autre par un 
commerce de lettres fuivi, nous n^avions plus d'au^ 
tre objet de correfpondance epiftolaire que celui 
d'une penfion qu'il s'agiflbit de lui obtenir du Roi 
d*Angleterre, Void le rccit fidele & fucdnft de 
cette affaire. 

Un foir que nous caufions enfemble a Calais, od 
nous eiions retenus par les vents contraires, je de» 
mandai i, M. RoufTeau s'il n'accepteroit pas une pen^ 
fion du Roi d'Angleterre, au cas que Sa Majefttf 
Youlut bien la lui accorder. II me repondit que 
cela n'etoit pas fans difBcuIte, mais qu'il s'en rap^ 
porteroit entierement i Tavis de Mylord Marefcbal. 
Encourage par cette reponfe, je ne fus pas plutdt 
arrive a Londres que je m'adreiTai pour cet objet 
aux Miniftres du Roi, & particuKerement au Ge» 
neral Conway, Secretaire d'Etat, & au Generad 
Grceme, Secretaire & Chambellan de la Reine. 
JIs firent la demande de la penfion i leurs Majeft^ 
qui y confentirent avec bontc, a condidon feule* 
ment que la chofe reftcroit fecrete. Nous ccri- 
vlmes, M. Roufleau & moi, ^ Mylord Marefchal, 
& M. Roulfeau marqua ds^s fa lettre que le fecret 
qu'on demandoit etoit pour lui une circonftance 
tres agreable. Le confenteikient de Mylord Mare- 
fchal arriva« comme ^ fe l^imagine biea; M* 



RoufTeaii partit peu de jours apres pour Wootton, 
& cette affaire reila quekjue temps fufpendue, par 
un derangement qui furvint dans la fantc du Gene* 
ral Conway. 

Cependant le temps que j'avois pafle ayec M» 
Roufifeau m'avoit mis a porcce de demeler fon ca« 
radere ^ je commen^ois a craindre que Tinquictude 
d^efprit qui lui eft naturelle ne l^empechat de jouir 
du repos, auquel I'hofpitalite & la furetc qu'il troo* 
voit en Angleterre I'invitoient a fe livrer : je voyois^ 
avec une peine infinie^ qu'il etoit ne pour le tu- 
multe & les orages, & que le degout qui fuit la 
JQuiflance paiiible de la folitqde & de U tranquillite^ 
le rendroit bientot a charge a lui-meme & a tout ce 
qui' renvironnoit ; mais, tloigne du lieu qu'il habi- 
toit de cent cinquante milles, & fans ceffe occupe 
des moyens de lui rendre fervlce, je ne m'attendois 
gueres a etre moi-meme la viftime de cette mal- 
heureufe difpofition de caraftere. 

II eft ni'ceifaire que je rappelle ici une lettre 
qui avoit etc ccrite a Paris, I'hiver dernier, fous 
le nom fuppofc du Roi de.Pruffe. En void la 

*' Mon cher Jean Jacques, 
** Vous avez renonce a Geneve, votre patrie* 
Vous vous etes fait chaifer de la Suiffe, pays tan^ 
vante dans vos ecrits ; la France vous a d terete i 
venez done chez moi. J'admire vos talens; je 
|E*amufe de vos reveries .qui (foit .^t eji paffent) 



vous occupent trop & trop Ibngtemps. II faut ^ la 
fin etre fage & heureux ; vous avez fait aiTez parler 
de vous par des fingularites peu convenables i un 
veritable grand homme : demontrez a vos enncmis 
que vous pouvez avoir quelquefbis le fens commun : 
cela les fachera fans vous faire tort. Mes etats 
vous offrent une retraite paifible : je vous veux du 
bien & je vous en ferai, fi vous le trouvez bon* 
Mais fi vous vous obftinez a rejetter mon fecours, 
attendez-vous que je ne le dirai a peribnne. Si 
vous perfiftez a vous creufer Tefprit pour trouver 
de nouveaux malheurs, choififTez-les tels que vous 
voudrez ; je fuis roi, je puis' vous en procurer au 
gre de vos fouhaits ; &, ce qui furement ne vous 
arrivera pas vis-a-vis de vos ennemis, je cefferai de 
vous perfccuter, quand vous cefferez de mettre vo- 
tre gloire ^ Tetre. 

** Votre bon ami, 

". FREDEttlCK*** 

Cette lettre avoit etc compofce par M . Horace 
Walpole, environ trois femaines avant mon depart 
de Paris; mais quoique je.logeafle dans le meme 
hotel que M. Walpole* & que nous nous viifio^.s 
tres-fou vent, cependant, par attention pour mpi, il 
avoit foigneufem^t cache cette plaifanteriejufqu'- 
apres mon dtpart. Alors il la montra a quelques: 
amis ; on en prit des copies, qui bient6t fe multi- ^ 
piierent. Cette petite piece fe repandit rapidemtnt 
dans toute I'Europe, & elle etoit dans les mains de 
tout le monde lorfque je la vi^ i Londres pour la 
premiere foisb 



Tous ceux qui connoiflcnt la liberte doot m jouit 
en Anglt^terre convkndroiu, je penfe, que . t^ifi 
Tautoritc du Roi» des Lords, & des Communes, & 
toute la puifiance eccl^fiadique, civile & mill*' 
taire du royaume ne pourroient empecber . qii'oQ i 
n'y imprimat une platfanterie de ce genre. Al^iS 
ne fus-je pas etonne de la voir patroitre dan$ le Si^ 
James*! Chronicle ; mais je le fus beaucoup de .troo^ 
¥er qutlques jours aprcs^ dans le meme papier^ la 
piece fuivante* 

hL Rousseau A x^'Autbur du St. James's 


^ Vous avez manque, Mondeur, au refped qu< 
tout particulier doit au tStes couronnccs, en attri- 
buant publiquement au Roi de PrufTe une lettre 
pleine d*extravagance & de mechancete, dont par 
cela feul vous deviez favoir qu'ii ne pouVoit ^tre 
Tauteur. Vous avez meme ofe traufcriro fa fignpi* ; 
ture, comme fi vous Taviez vue ecrite de /a. msiiL 
Je vans apprens, Monfieur, que cette lettre 1 ete 
fibriquee a Paris, & ce qui navre & dpchire moa 
cceur, que Timpofteur a des complices en Angle* 



" Vous devez au Roi de Pruffe, a la verite, i 
moi, d'imprimer la lettre que je veus ecris & que 
je figne, en rcparatipn d'une faute que vov^ vous 
rcprocberiez fans doute, fi vous faviesi.d^ 4uelle« 




liolrceurs vous vous rendez rinftrument, Je Toitt 
fitts, Monfieur, mes finceres (aiutations/' 

J. J- R* 

Je fiis afflig^ d^ roir M. RouflTeau moAtrer eet 
exc^ de fenfibilite pour un incident audi fimple & 
inevitable que la publication de la pretendue lettrift 
du Roi dc Prufle ; mais je me ferois cru coupatrf^ 
moi-m£me de noirceur & de m^hancete, fi j'avois 
imaging que M. Roufleau me foup^omKHt d'etre 
Pediteur de cette plaifanterie, & que c'etoit contre 
moi qu*il fe difpofoit i toumer toute fa fureur. 
C'eft cependant ce qu'il m'a appris depuis. U eft 
bon de remarquer que huit jours auparavant il 
m'avoit ecrit la lettre la plus affe£tueufe*: c^eft 
celle du 29 Mars. J'ctois aflurement le dernier 
homme du monde qui, dans les regies du fens 
commun, devoit £tre foup^onne; cependant, fahi 
la plus 16gere preuve, fans la moindre probaUlitSi 
c*dl moi que non-feulement M. Roufleafu foup*^ 
^onne, mais qu'il accufe fans heficer, d'avoir feit 
Itnprimer la latyre dont il fe plaint } &, fahs fkirt 
aucune recherche, fans entrer dans aucune eitpfica» 
tion, c'eft moi qu'il infulte avec deffein, dahs'uA 
papier public ; du plus cher de fes amis, mie vo9i 
fur le champ converti en ennemi perfidi t& m^* 
chant, & par4l tous mes fervices pafll^s k priknik 
font d'un feul trait adroitement effaces. 

S*il n'etoit pas ridicule d'employer le raiibnnei^ 

* !">«« 457» 

13 ment 


ment fur un femblable fujet & contre un tel homme, 
je demanderois a M. RoufTeau pourquoi il me Aip- 
pofe le deflein de lui nuire. Les faits lui ont, en 
cent occafions, ^rouve le contraire, & ce n'eft pas 
rufage que les fervices que nous avons rendus faf- 
fent naitre en nous de la mauvaife volont^ contxe 
celui qui les a rei^us. Mais, en fuppofant que 
j^eufie dans le cceur une fecrete animofite contre 
M. RoufTeau, me ferois-je expofe au rifque d'etie 
decouverty en envoyant moi-meme aux auteurs des 
papiers publics une fatyre qui^faifoit du bruit & qui 
etant auili gencralemcnt rcpandue, ne pouvoit man- 
quer de tomber bientot entre leurs mains ? 

Comme je n'avois garde de me croire Tobjet d'un 
foup^on fi alroce & fi ridicule, je continual a fcrnr 
M. Roufleau de la maniere la plus conftante & la 
moins Equivoque. Je renouvcllai mes follicitations 
aupr^s du General Conway, dcs que I'etat de la • 
fante put lui permcttre de s'occupcr dc quelque 
chofe. Le General s adreHa dc nouveau au R!oi 
pour la penfion que nous dcmandions, & Sa .Ma<^ 
jefte y donna une feconde fois fon confcntement. 
On s'adrefla auill au Maiquis de Rockingham, 
premier lord de la trcforerie, pour arranger cette 
affaire ; enfin, je la vois hcurcufement terminee,* & 
plein de la joie la plus vive, j'en mande la nou* 
velle a mon ami. Je n'en re9us point de rc- 
ponfe ; mais voici la lettre qu'il ecrivit au General 

M. RoussjSAU 


M. Rousseau au General Conway. ' 

" Monfieur, ^^ 22 Mai, 1766. 

** Vivement touche des graces dont il plait a Sa 
Majefte de m'honorer, & de vos bontcs qui me les 
ont attirees, j'y trouve, des-a-prefent, ce bien pre- 
cieux a mon coeur, d'int^reffer ^ mon fort le meiU 
leur des rois & rhomme le plus digne d'etre aim£ 
de lui* Voila, Monfieur, un avantage dont je fuis 
jaloux & que je ne m^riterai jamais de perdre, 
Mais il faut vous parler avec la franchife que vous 
aimez. Apr^s tant de malheurs, je me croyois 
prepare a tous les ev^nemens poilibles ; il m'en ar- 
rive pourtant que je n*avois pas prcvus & qu'il n'ett: 
pas meme permis a un honnete homme de prevoir. 
lis m'en afFeftent d'autant plus cruellement, & le 
trouble oiu ils me jettent m*6tant la liberte d'efprit 
neceflaire pour me bien conduire, tout ce que me 
dit la raifon dans un ctat aufli trifle eft de fufpea* 
dre mcs rcfolutions fur toute affaire importante, 
telle qu'efl pour moi celle dont il s'agit. Loin de 
me refufer aux bienfaits du roi, par Torgueil qu'on 
m'impiite, je Ic mettrois i, m'en glorlfier, & tout 
ce que j'y vois de penible efl de ne pouvoir m'en 
honorer aux yeux du public comme aux miens pro- 
pres. Mais lorfque je les recevrai, je veux pouvoir 
me livrer tout entier aux fentimens qu'ils m'infpirent, 
& n'avoir le coeur plein que des bontcs de Sa Ma- 
jefte & des votres. Je ne crains pas que cette fa9on de 
penfer les puiffe altcrer. Daignez done, Monfieur, 
me les conferver pour des temps plus heureux: 

H h TOus 


vous connoitrez alors que je ne differe de m'en 
prcvaloir, que pour tacher de m'en rendre plus 
digne. Agreez, Monfieur, je vous fiipplie^ me8 
tres-humbles ialutations &" mon refpeS." 

J. J. R. 

Cette lettre parut au General Conway, comme 
si moi, un refus net d'accepter la penfion tant qu'oa 
en feroit un fecret ; mais comme M. Rou0eau avoit 
ete des le commencement inftruit de cette condition^ 
& que toute fa condulte, fes difcours, fes lettres, 
ih'avoient perfuade qu'elle lui convenoit^ je jugeai 
qu'il avoit honte de fe retrader la deflus en m'^- 
crivant, & je crus voir dans cette mauvaife honte 
la raifon d'un filence dont j'ctois furpris. 

/'obtins du General Conway qu'il ne prendrolt 
aucune refolution relativement a cette affaire j & 
j'ecriyis i M. Rouffeau une lettre pleine d'amiti^, 
dans laquelle je I'exhortai a reprendre fa premiere 
fa9on de penfer & a accepter la penfion. 

Quant K I'accablement profond dont M. Rouf« 
feau fe plaint dans fa lettre au General Conway, & 
qui lui otoit, difoit-il, jufqu'a la liberte de fon ef- 
prit, je fus raflurc a cet egard par une lettre de M. 
Davenport, qui me marquoit que pr^cifcment dans 
ce temps la fon hote etoit tres-content, tres-gai & 
mcmes tres-fociable. Je reconnus la cette foiblefle 
ordinaire de mon ami, qui veut toujours etre un 
objet d'interct en pafTant pour un homme opprim£ 



par rinfortune, la maladie, les perfccutions^ lors 
tn<^e qu*il eft le plus tranquille & le plus heureux. 
Son affeftation de fenfibilite extreme etoit un arti- 
fice trop fouvent repete pour en impofer ^ un 
homme qui le connoiflbit aufli bien que moi. lyail- 
leurs, en le fuppofant meme auffi vivement afied6 
qu'il le difoit, je n'aurois pu attribuer cette difpofi- 
tion qu*a la pi-etendue lettre du Roi de Prufle dont 
il avoit temoigne tant de chagrin dans ]es papiers 

J'attendis trois femaines fans avoir de reponfe* 
Ce procedc me parut un peu Strange & je Pccrivis 
a M. Davenport; cependant comme^ j'avois a£faire 
a un homme tres-etrange aufir, & que j'attribuois 
toujours fon filence a la petite honte qu'il pouvoit 
avoir de m*ecrire, je ne voulus pas me decourager, 
& perdre, pour un vain ceremonial, roccafion d^' 
lui rendre un fervice eflentiel. Je renouvellai done 
mes follidtatibns aupres des miniftres, & je fus 
affez heureux dws mes foins pour £tre autoriie a 
ecrire la lettre fuivante a M. Roufleau : c'eft ta 
premiere dont j'aie conferve une copie. 

M. HiTME A M. Rousseau. 

Londrei^ & 19 Jmh^ 1766. 

*^ Comme je n*ai re9u, Monfieur, aucune rc- 
ponfe de vous, j'en conclus que vous perfifv€rez 
dans la rcfolution de refufer les bienfaits de Sa Ma- 
jefte, tant qu'on en fera un fecret. Je me fuis en 

H h a conf<5quence 


cptifcquence adreiT^ au General Conway pqur fttre 
fupprimer cette condition, & j'ai ete aflez heureux 
pour obtenir de lui la promeiTe d'en parier au roi« 
n faut feulement, mVt'il dit, que nous hphioim 
pr entablement de M. RoufTeau 6 41 eft difpoTe & 
accepter une peniion qui lui feroit accordee pub* 
liquementi afin que Sa Majelte ne foit pas expo£6e a 
VA fecond refus. U m'a autorife a vou$ ecrire li- 
de0us, & je vou$ prie de me faire favoir votre. xiefo« 
lution le plutot que vous pourrez. Si vous m*eii^ 
Toyez votre confentement, ce que je vous prie in- 
flaniment de faire, je fais que je peux compter fur 
Iks bons offices du Due de Richmond poor appuyer 
la demande du General Conway ; ainfi je joe doute 
xruUement du fucces. 

** Je fuis, mon cher Monfieur, tres-fmc^remenf 
tput a vous.'* 

D. a 

Je re9us au boat de cinq jours la repoofe; fiii* 

M. Rousseau a M. Hume. 

j1 Woolton, k 2% Julnt 1 766. 

*' Je croyois, Monfieur, que mon lilence inter- 
pret6 pai^ votre cokifcience en difoit alTez ; mais 
puifqu'il entre dans tos vues de ne pas Pentendre, 
j^ parlerai. Vous vous Ites mal cache, je vous 
connois, & vous ne Figuorez pas. Sans liaifona 9n« 
terieures, fans querelles, ians demcles, fans Aoui 

3 connoitre 


coimoitre autrement qiie par ta reputation Utteraire, 
VOU& vous emprefiez a ih'oflfiir, dans mes malheurs, 
vos amis &vosfoins ; touchc devotreg^ncrofite, jeme 
jette entre vos bras ; vous m'amenez en Angleterre, 
en apparence pour m'y procurer un afyle, & en effet 
pour m'y defhonorer. Voua vous appliquez a cette 
nouble oeuvre avec un zele digne de votre coeur, & 
avec un fucces digne de vos talens. 11 n*en falloit pas 
tant pour reuffir: vous vivez dans le grtknd Aionde, & 
moi dans la retralte ; le public aime a etre trompe, & 
vous ctes fait pour le tromper. Je connois pourtant un 
hommeque vous ne tromperez pas: c'eftvous-meme. 
Vous favez avec quelle horreur mon c«ur repoufla 
le premier foup9on de vos deffeins. Je vous dis, en 
vous embraffant, les yeux en larmes, que, fi vous 
n'ctiez pas le meilleur des homines, il faHoit que 
vous en fuffiez le plus noir. En penfant a votre 
conduite fJ&crete, vous vous direz quelquefois que 
vous n'ct^s pas le meilleur des homraes, & je doute 
qu'avec cette idee vous en foyez jamais le plus heu- 

** Je laiflfe un libre cours aux manoeuvres de vos 
•mis, & aux votres, & je vous abandonne avec peu 
de regret ma reputation pendant ma vie, bien fUr 
qu'un jour on nous rendra juftice i tous deux. 
Ouant aux bons offices en matiere d'int^ret avec 
Mquels vous vous mafquez, je vous en remercie & 
vcMis en difpenfe. Je me dois de n'avoir plus de 
commerce avec vous, & de n'accepter pas meme i 
mon avantage, aucune afiaire dont vous foyez le 
n^diateur. Adieu, Monfieur, je. vous Ibubaite le 

H h J plus 


plu8 vrai bonheur ; mais, comme nous ne devoBs 
plus rien avoir ^ dous dire, void la demiere lettre 
que vous recevrez de moi.** 

Je lui iis fur le champ la reppnfe fuivante. 


Ce iC Jmn^ 1 799. 

** Comme la confcience me dit que j'en ai tou- 
jours agi avec vous de la maniere la plus amicale Sc 
que je vous ai donne, en toute occafion, les preuves 
les plus tendres & les plus adives d'une fmcere af- 
feftion, vous pouvez juger de TextremjB furprife 
que m'a caufee la lefture de votre lettre. II eft 
aufli impoiTible de repondre a des accufations fi vio- 
lentes & bornees a de fimples generalites, qu'il eft 
impoflible de les concevoir. Mais cette affaire ne 
peut, de doit pas en refter la. Je fuppofe cbarita- 
blement que quelqu'infame calomniateur m'a noirq 
aupres de vous ; mais en ce cas, le devoir vous 
oblige, & je fuis perfuadc que votre propre inclinar * 
tion vous porte a me donner les moyens de connoi- , 
tre mon accufateur & de me juftifier ; ce que vous 
ne pouvez faire qu'en m'inftruifant de ce dont on 
m'accufe. Vous dites que je fais moi-meme que je 
vous ai trahi ; mais, je le dis hautement & je le 
dirai a tout Tunivers: je fais le contraire} je fais 
que mon amitie pour vous a ete fans bomes & f<^is : 
rclachej &, quoique je vous en aie donne des 



preuves qui font univerfellement connues en France 
& en Angleterre, le public n'en connoit encore que 
la plus petite partie. Je deraande que vous me nom- 
miez Phomme qui ofe affirmer le contraire, & fur- 
tout je demande qu'il cite une felile circonftance 
dans laquelle je vous aie manque. Vous le devez ^ 
moi ; vous le devez a vous-m6me ; vous le devez % 
la verit^, a Thonneur, k la juftice, a tout ce quMl 
y a de facrc parmi les hommes. C*eft comme in* 
nocent, car je ne dirai pas comme votre ami, je ne 
dirai pas comme votre bienfiaiiteur j c*eft, je le rc- 
pete, comme innocent, que je reclame le droit de 
prouver mon innocence & de confondre les fcanda- 
leufes faufletes qu'on peut avoir forgces contre moi. 
J*efpere que M. Davenport, a qui j*ai envoye une 
copie de votre lettre, & qui lira cell-ci avant de vous 
la remettre, appuyera ma demande, & vous dira 
qu'elle eft jufte. J'ai heureufement conferve la 
iettre que vous m*avez ecrite aprcs votre arrivee i 
Wootton, & ou vous memarquez, dans lestermes 
les plus forts, & me me dans des termes trop forts, 
combien vous etes fenfible aux foibles efforts que 
j'ai faits pour vous fitre utile. Le petit comtnerce 
de lettres que nous avons eu enfuite n'a eu pour ob- 
jet, de ma part, que des vues diSees par J'amitie. 
Dites-moi done ce qui, depuis ce temps-la, a 
pu vous offenfer; dites-moi de quoi Ton m*ac- 
cufe J dites-moi quel eft mon accufateur ; & quand 
vous aurez rempli ces conditions a ma fatisfac- 
tion & a celle de M. Davenport, vous aure^ 
eacore beaucoup de peine a vous juftifier d'em- 

Hl^ 4 ployer 


player des expreflions fi outrageantes contre ua 
honune avec qui vous avez ete fi etrokement lie, & 
qui meritoit, a plufieurs titres, d'etre traite par 
vous avec plus d'egards & de decence. 

^' M* Davenport fait tout ce qui s'efl pafle rela^ 
tivemeot a votre peaGon» parce qu'il m'a paru ixe« 
ceflak'e, que la perfooae, qui 8'eft chargee de vqus 
procurer un etabliiTemeat, comtoiiTe ezadement 
Tetat die votre fortune, afin qu'elle ne foit pas 
tentee d'exercer 4 votre egard des ades de genero- 
iki, qui, en parvenant par halard a votre connoi£- 
faace, pourroient vous donner quelque fujet de me^ 

" Je fuis, Monfieur, ^o 

" D. u:\ 

Le credit de M. Dav^port me procura, au bout 
de trois femaines, Tenorme lettre qu'on va lire, & qui 
a du moins cet avantage pour moi qu'elle confirme 
tou(;es les circonftances importantes de mon recite 
I'y joindrai quetques notes* qui ne tomberont 
que fur des faits que M. Roufleau a prefentcs 
peu fidellement, & je laiiferai a mes leckeurs i 
juger lequel de nous deux merits le plus de cob% 

* Lcs notes de M. Hume foot dillinguees par des chiffret 
& imprimees en caradlcres roroains ; celles do M. RoufTeau font 
diftinguees par une etofle & imprunees en caraderes it^b'^uet* 
—AW du Edlteurs^ 


M. Rousseau a M. Hume* 

A Wootton^ U to JuUUt^ 1755. 

" Je fuis nulade, Monfieur, & peu en ttat 
d'ecrire; m^usYQUsvoulez une explication, il £aut vous 
la doaner. U n'a tenu cju'a vou9 de Tavoir depuis 
ongtemps ('): vous n'en voulutes point alors, je me 
tus y vous la voulez aujourd'hui, je vous Tenvoie, 
Elle fera longue, j'en fuis fache ; mais j'ai beau- 
coup a dire, & je n'y veux pas revenir a deux 

^' Je ne vis point dans le monde ; j'ignore ce qui 
s*y pa£fe ; je n'ai point de parti, point d'afibcie, 
point d'intrigue ; on ne me dit rien, je ne fais que ce 
que je fens } mais comme on me le fait bien lentir, 
je le fais bien. Le premier fbin de ceux, qui trament 
des noirceurs, eft,|de fe mettre a couvert des preuves 
juridiques ; il ne feroit pas bon leur in tenter proces. 
La convidion intcrieure adniet un autre genre de 
preuves qui reglent les fentimens d'un honnete 
homme. Vous iaurez fur quoi font fondes les miens. 

^' Vous demandez arec beaucoup de confiance 
qu'on vous nomme votre accuiateur. Get accufa-^ 

(') M. Roufleau ne m'a affiir^ment jamais donnS lieu de lui 
Jemaoder une expHcatibn. Si, pendant que nous avons vecu 
cnfemble, il a eu quelques-una des indignes foup^ons dont cetCv 
lottre eft rempticy il Ici a tcmis bien fecrcti. 



teur, Monfieur, eft le feul homme au monde qui, 
depofant centre vous, pouvoit fe faire ecouter de 
inoi ; c*eft vous-meme. Je vais me livrer fans re* 
ferve & fans crainte a mon caraftere ouvert ; enne-^ 
mi de tout artifice, je vous parlerai avec la meme 
franchife que fi vous etiez un autre en qui j'eufle 
toute la confiance que,je n'ai plus en vous. Je vous 
ferai Thiftoire des mouvemens de mon ame & de ce 
qui les a produits, & nommant M. Hume en tierce 
perfonne, je vous ferai juge vous-mcme de ce que 
je dois penfer de lui. Malgrc la longeur de ma 
lettre^ je n'y fuivrai point d'autre ordre que celui 
de mes idces, commen9ant par les indices & finif* 
fant par la dcmonftration. 

*' Je quittois la Suifle, fetiguc de traitemens baF» 
bares, mais qui du moins ne mettoient en peril que 
ma perfonne & laiffoient mon honneur en fArete. 
Je fuivois les mouvemens de mon coeur pour aller 
joindre Mylord Marefchal ; quand je re9us a Straf- 
bourg de M* Hume Tinvitation la plus tendre de 
paffer avec lui en Angleterre, ou il me promettoit 
Taccueil le plus agreable, & plus de tranquillite que 
je n*y en ai trouve. Je balan9ai entre Tancien ami 
& le nouveau, j*eus tort ; je prefcrai ce dernier, 
j'eus plus grand tort : mais le defir de connoitre par 
moi-meme une nation cclebre, dont on me difoit 
tant dc mal & tant de bien, Temporta. SAr de ne 
pas perdre George Keith, j'ctois flattc d'acquerir 
David Hume. Son mcrite, fes rares talene, Phon* 
nctete bien ctablic de fon caradere, me faifoient 



deiirer de joindre fon amitic a celle dont m'liono- 
roit fon illuftre compatriote ; & je me faifois une 
forte de gloire de montrer un bel exemple aux gens 
de lettres dans 1' union fincere de deux hommes 
dont les principes ctoient fi di£ferens, 

" Avant rinvitation du Roi de Pruffe & de My^ 
lord Marefchai, incertain fur le lieu de ma retraite, 
j*avois demande & obtenu par mes amis un paffe- 
port de la Cour de France, dont je me fervis pour 
aller a Paris joindre M. Hume. II vit, & vit trop 
peut-etre, I'accueil que je re9us d*un grand prince, 
&, j'ofe dire, du public. Je me prctai par devoir, 
mais avec repugnance a cet ecbt, jugeant combiea 
Tenvie de mes ennemis en feroit irritee. Ce fut un 
fpectacle bien doux pour moique Taugmentationfen*' 
fible de bienveillance pour M. Hume, que la bonne 
ceuvre qu'il alloit faire produifit dans tout Paris. 
II devoit en etre touchc comme moi ; je ne (ais s'ii 
le fut de la meme maniere. 

^' Nous partons avec un de mes amis, qui, prefqu* 
uniqueraent pour moi, faifoit le voyage d i\ngleterre* 
pn debarquant k Douvres, tranfporte de toucher 
enfin cette terre de liberte, & d'y ctre amene par 
cet homme illuftre, je lui faute au cou, je Pem- 
braffe etroitement fans rien dire, mais en couvrant 
fon vifage de baifers & de larmes qui parloient aflez. 
Ce n'eft pas la feule fois ni la plus remarquable oil 
il ait pu voir en moi les faififlemens d'un cceur pe« 
netrc. Je ne fais cwju'il fait de ces fouvenirs, s'ils 


47^ tlFB AND WttITING8 OF 

lui viennent ; j'ai dans Tefprit qu'il en doit quelque- 
fois tire importune. 

** Nows fommes fetes arrivant a LondFes. On 
s'emprefle dans tons le etats a me marquer de la 
bienveillance & de Teftime. M, Hume me prefente 
de bonne grace a tout le monde ; il etoit natorel de 
lui attribuer, comme je faifois, la, n>eilteure paitie 
de ce bon accueil : mon coeur etoit plein de lai, 
j^en partois a tout le monde, j*en ecrivois a tous 
mes amis} mon attachement pour lui prencMt 
chaque jour de nouvelles forces ; le fien paroiflbit 
pour moi de plus tendres, & il m'en a quelquefois 
donnc des marques dont je me fuis fenti tres-touch^. 
Celle de faire faire mon portrait en grand ne fut 
pourtant pas de ce nombre. Cette fantaifie me 
parut trep aflfchce, & j*y trouvai je ne fais quel air 
d'oftentation qui ne me plut pas. C*eft tout ce 
que j*aurois pu paflfer a M, Hume s'il eAt cte 
homme a jotter font argent par les fenetres, & qu*il 
cut eu dans une galerie tous les portraits de fes 
amis. Au refte, j'avouerai fans peine qu*en cela 
jc puis avoir tort Q). 

(') Voici le fait. M Ramfay mon ami\ pciirtrc difttngu6 8t 
homme dt merite, ou propofa dc faire hr^ortrait de M. Ronf- 
feau ; & lorfqu'il Teut commence, il me dit qiie fon intention 
etoit dc m'cn fairc prefcnt. Ainii ce n'cll point a moi que 
riJce en vint, & ce portrait nc mc couta rien. M. RoyfTeau 
s'eil done cgalemcnt mepris, & lorfqu'il me fait un compliment 
fur cette pr6tendue galanterie de ma part dans fa IcttM du 29- 
Mwa, & lorfqu^vl b'cn moque daos ceiif-ci. 

« Mais 


*^ Mais ce qui me parut un a£te d'amittc & de 
gcncrofite des plus vrais & des plus eflimables, des 
plus digues en un mot de M. Hume, ce fut ie foin 
qu'il prit de folliciter pour moi de iui-mcme une 
penfion du roi, a laquelle je n'avois aflurement 
aucun droit d'afpirer. Temoin du zele qu'il mit a 
cctte aSaire, j'en fus vivement pen^tre: rien ne 
pouvoit plus me flatter qu un fenrice de cette efpece^ 
non pour imteret aflfurement, car trop attache 
peut-etre a ce que je poflfede, je ne fais point dciirer 
ce que je n'ai pas ; & ayant par mes amis & par 
mon travail du pain fuffifamment pour rivre, je 
n'ambidonne rien de plus ; mais I'honneur de rece- 
voir des temoignages de bonte, je ne dirai pas d'lm 
fi grand monarque, mais d'un fi bon pere, d'un ft 
bon man, d'un fi bon ihaitre, d*un fi bon ami, 
& fur-tout d'un fi honnete homme, m'afFedoit 
fenfibiement ; & quand je confidcrois encore dans 
cette grace, que le mimfbre, qui I'a voit obtenue, etoic 
la probitc vivaate, cette probite fi ut3e aux peuples^ 
& fi rare dans fon ^tat, je ne pouvois que me 
glorifia* d'avoir pour bienfaiteurs trois des hommes 
du monde que j'aurois le plus defires pour anus. 
Auffi, Icwn de me refufer a la penfion offeree, je 
ne mis pour I'accepter qu'une condition neceffaire^ 
iavoir, un confentement dont, fans maitquer a mom 
devoir, je ne pouvois me paffer. 

♦^ Honorc des empreffemens de tout le moiide, 
je tachois d'y repoodre convenabkment. Cepen^ 
dant ma mauvaife fantc & I'iiai^ude de vivre a la 



compagne me firent trouver le fejour de la ville m^ 
commode. AufTitot les maifons de campagne fe 
prcfentent en foule ; on m'en offre a choifir dans 
toutes les provinces. M. Hume fe charge des pro 
pofitions, il me les fait, ii me conduit meme a deux 
ou trois campagnes voifines ; j*hcfite longtemps for 
le choix ; il augmentoit cette incertitude. Je me 
determine enfin pour cette province, & d'abord M* 
Hume arrange tout; les embarras s'applaniflent } 
•je pars, j'arrive dans cette habitation folitaire, com* 
mode, agreable : le maitre de la maifon prcvoit 
tout, pourvoit a tout ; rien ne manque. Je fuis 
tranquille, independant ; voila le moment fi dcfird 
oii tous mes maux doivent finir. Non, c*eft-la 
qu'ilscoramencent, plus cruels que je ne les avois 
encore cprouvcs* 

^^ J'ai parlc jufqu'ici d'abondance de coeur, & 
rendant avec le plus grand plaifir juftice aux bons 
offices de M. Hume. Que ce qui me rede a dire# 
n'eft-il de memo nature ! Rien ne me coiktera ja- 
mais de ce qui pourra Thonorer. II n'eft permis de 
marchander fur le prix des bienfaits que quand on 
nousaccufed'ingratitude, & M. Humem'en accufe 
aujourd'hui. J'oferai done faire une obfervation 
qu'il rend neceflaire. En apprcciant fes foins par 
la peine & le temps qu'ils lui coAtoient, ils ^toienc 
d'un prix inellimable encore plus par fa bonne vo- 
lontc : pour le bien reel qu'ils m'ont fait, ils ont 
plus d'apparence que de poids. Je ne venois point 
comme un mendiant queter du pain en Angleterre j 



j^y apportois le mien j j'y venois abfolument chercher 
un afyle, & il eft ouvert a tout ctranger. D'ail- 
leurs je n'y etois point tellement inconiiUy qu*arri- 
vant feul) j'eufle manque d'affiftsUice & de fervices* 
Si quelques perfonnes m'ont recherche pour M. 
Hume, d'autres audi m'ont recherche pour moi ; 
&, par exemple, quand M. Davenport voulut bien 
m'offrir Tafyle que j'habite, ce ne fiit pas pour lui 
qu'il ne connoiffoit point, & qu*il vit feulement pour 
le prier de faire & d'appuyer fon obligeante propo- 
fition. Ainfi quand M. Hume tache aujourd'hui 
d'aliener de moi cet honnete homme, il cherche a 
m'oter ce qu'il ne m*a pas donne (^). Tout ce qui* 
s'eft fait de bien, fe feroit fait fans lui a peu-pres 
de meme, & peut-etre mieux ; mais le mal ne fe 
fiit point fiait ; car pourquoi ai-je des ennemis en 
Angleterre? Pourquoi ces ennemis font-ils pr€- 
cifement les amis de M. Hume ? . Qui eft-ce qui a 
pu m'attirer leur inimitie ? Ce n'eft pas moi qui 
Tie les vis de ma vie & qui ne les connois pas ; je 
ii*en aurois aucun, fi j*y ctois venu feul (^). 

(0 M. Roufleau me juge mal, & devroit me connoitre mieox^ 
Depute notre rupture, j'ai ^crtt a M. Davenport pour I'engagez: 
a conrerver les mdmes bontes a fon malheureux h6te. 

(-*} Etrangeseffctsd'une imagination bleiT^e ! M. RoufTeau 
Ignore, dlt-il, ce qui ce pafle dans le monde, & il parle cepen- 
dant des ennemis qu'il a en Angleterre. D'ou le 6ui^il > Od 
les voit-il ? II n'7 a regu que des marques de bienfai/ance k, 
Id'hofpitalit^. M. Walpole feul avoit fait une plaifanten'e fur 
iuiy mais n*etoit point pour cela fon ennemr.. Si M. Rouflcau 
voyoit les chofet commes elles font, il verroit qu'il p'a eu en 
Angkterre d'autre ami que moi 5c d'autrc eonemtqu"! uf^rodme. 


" J*ai parie jufqu'ici de feits publics k fiOtoifes^ 
qui par leur nature & par ma reconnoifTance ont 
eu le plus grand ecbt. Ceux qui me reftent ^ 
dire font^ non feulement parriculicrs, maie fecrets, 
du moins dans leur caufe, & I'on a pris toutes les 
Hitefures poffibles pour quails reftaJfent cach^$ au 
public ; mais, bien connus de ia perfonne int^« 
tefleC) ils n'en operent pas moins & propre con* 

** Peu de temps apris notre arriv^e ^ Londlre^i 
j'y remarquai dans les e%rits, k tdon ^gaixl^ ml 
changement fourd qui bientdt devint tr^8-fenfible« 
Avant que je vinfle en Angleterre, elle ctoit un ded 
pays de TEurope oil j'avois le pbs de rrpatfttloi!^ 
j'ofaxMS prefque dire de confid^raticm. Lee papiers 
publics ^toient pleixis de mes ^logesj & 11 n*y a?oit 
qu^un cri contre mes perfecuteum Ce ton fe 
fouiint a mon arrivee ; les papiers Ttmnoncerent en 
triomphe ; TAngleterre s'honorolt d'etre mon te» 
fuge ; elle en glorifioit avec juftice fes loix & fort 
gouvernement. Tout a-coup, & fans aucune caufe 
afignable, ce ton change, mais fi fort & fi vite, que, 
dans tous les caprices du public, on n*en voit guere 
de plus etonnant. Le fignal fut donns dans un 
certain msgafin^ audi plein d'ineptied que des mte« 
fonges, ou Tauteur bien inftruit, on feignant d6 
I'etre, me donnoit pour fils de muficien. Dts ce 
moment les imprimes ne parlerent phis de moi que 
d'une maniere equivoque ou malhonaete. Tout c6 
qyi avoit trait a mes malheurs ctoit d^guife, alt€r6, 
prcfente fous un faux jour, & toujours ie moins i 



mon avantage qu'il ttoit pofllble. Loin de parler 
de Taccueil que j*avois re9u a Paris, & qui n'avoit 
fait que trop de bruit, on ne fuppofoit pas meme 
que j'eude ofe paroitre dans cette ville, & un des 
amis de M. Hume fut tres*furpris quand je lui dis 
que j'y avois paflfc. 

^^ Trop accoutumc a Tinconftance du public 
pour m'en afie£ler, encore je ne laiflbis pas d'etre 
c tonne de ce changement fi brufque, de ce con* 
cert ii fingulierement unanime, que pas un de ceux 
qui m'avoient tant loue abfent, ne parut, moi pre* 
fent, fe fouvenir de mon exiftence. Je trouvois 
bizarre que precifement apres le retour de M. Hume 
qui a tant de credit a Londres, tant d'infiuence 
fur ies gens de lettres & les iibraires, & de ii 
grandes liaifons avec eux, fa prefence e^t produit 
un eSei A contraire a celui qu'on en pouvoit atten«. 
dre > que, parmi tant d'ecrivains de toute efpece, 
pas un de fes amis ne fe montrat le mien ; & Ton 
Yoyoit bien que ceux qui parloient de moi n'etoient 
pas fes ennemis, puifqu'en faifant fonner foa 
caradere public, ils difoient que j'avois traverfe la 
France fous fa proteftion, 2I la faveur d'un paffe^ 
port qu'il m'avoit obtenu de la Cour, & peu s'en 
falloit qu'ils ne filTent entendre que j'avois fait le 
voyage a fa fuite & i fes frais. 


*^ Ceci ne fignifioit rien aicore & n'etoit que 
fmgulier|; mais ce qui Tctoit davantage fut que le 
ton de fes amis ne changea pas moins avec moi 
que celui du public. Toujours, je m^ {^x$ ^n plaifir 

Ii de 

t t, *- * »J. 

d^b vCK^ Enns toinft^ unrs bens offices ant etc fitf 

«il trOfr^fSBIB CSS. fB3t afPfCKtZ BX2S iDin. tO? 

Ii BUBe ettzDK^ csim fiBMDiir (knr 

isotSK jfiiT^r^ aoooBpapnt coiitcsisi depicipoafit 
^■rs & ^pApeAm & ciujqimDS^ <|K*aiL ent St qitli 

1 mfobiger cpie puiir swar droit vie 

tin. iHt|BFifr (j )» Soft trez^ dTabord. crcs 

tr^vharoiAE^ cbaaigcft bgnirit avec & 

denrtffinr ^WS ne AogiittHt pB miaDe doiis 

icfufarv k tafait'i^ ni amHf ife^ ^Aliibli <pie ITchl resni 

fie mjtma (|ue Psccevee de £. JL Soudean 
ir is^ Dtaki Home; ;fc ^sxtamesatsa^ ia. came lie 

Qsop tie tnnpfintjgy «ie ifificrcooir^ dr nmidbe 

rcvQilant^ a. AHuwit Jam F^bir 

ft m'^eiL X taat ie rubles k*i &caBs *, 2a pumt ^ 


rsv 3 T pcmvant testzr csnoOfc^ (Jj « iw 
en. .lire izxdil uenfrr^sac Sa coaduite le.itt^eft» 
^'it xrt vie f^tssscr^ ea parcles ; ccsp«aifaiat» puiCi 
<^*1I ai ¥ciiicit dire, j^mrots Touiii qu^i routes cetf 
ksuanira aiiis il elc iubft^ac quetqueiois k fioct 
^ozi and ^ izbb je a'ai jamgiff OTQimr itum San \aa^ 
g2fe risk <fii kenck k vraie anttr > pas Beme dMat 
la lactm done il pariok de iDot a d^antres cft na 
prrtmce- Oa edc dzt qu^aot ¥€Kihctc sse Imk dtt 
patrcns il diefcbat i mooter kor bSdixcSlaiice^ 
qull Tcaloic pinsoc ^xe j^en tiidSe liElte cpi^aime ; 
& fai queiqaefois etc uirpris dn t(7Qr rtTckant qu*3 
do^i im oondBke prfe d« jBe« qui po«««^ 
s';ai ci&^i^tar. Un exemple cciaircira cecL SL 
FsBseck ca Masawiv aoai «ie Mvlord MardciidL 
& pgiteur ii'ime parcdie ou I'oa Totilott m^cttbfir^ 
^ient cces Toir. M. Htiase, moi prefe&t, lixi £ul 
mes exccies de se l^aroar pas putrvenu ; le Dodew 
MatTy lui dk-S, bckes vroit invifes poor Jeudi m 
Ijluikcm ou M« Roudieau devoic to«s voir ; mais 
E prcfcn d'aller avec Matkme Ganrick a la €t>» 
mcdie ; on ne pent pss fiire tan: de chc&s ea ua 

as twitf ^rH3D& ; €VBme Ji ft me czvtojlt /«f ^^ ir^tfr 
/r J/ H^me^ fmr etr: afiri q^e. Jt toau Ha avra jpi mjfkai^ 
rHeloife Jaa itrtfmr S^kfhu emmmjam. 

(') Oa pent jugcf p«* I» <i:^2X prcmlerct kttzci de IL 
ftooSeau, que j'ai pabliees a dcfTc'a, de quel c^te \t^Jl9gtr»m 
Mtriss ocki coiamcticc. A u rt^, j'limcis & /cdioiM If. RoaC* 
(eauy & j'avou do plaiilr k ic Ini ourqacr. Pcst-toc ca 
I'ax je trop loue, auui je pens afforcr q;^'!! oe s*^ eft ji 

» li a JQ«r 

4^4 ^I'K 'A.ND W&ITXMOS Of 

jour('). Vous m^arouerez, Monfieur, que c'ctoit* 
li une^trange liai9on de me capter la bienveiUance 
de M. fenneck. 

. •• Je ne fais ce qu'avoit pu dire en fecret 
M. Hume al fes comioiflances ; mais rien n'ctoit 
plus bizarre que leur fa9on d*en ufer avec moi de 
fon aveu, fouvent m£me par fon afliftance. Quoique 
ma bourfe ne fftt pa& Tuide, que je n'euffe befoin 
de celle de perfonne, & qu*il le fAt trcs bien. Ton 
eAt dit que je n'^tois l^ que pour vivre aux dcpens 
du public, & qu'il n'etoit queftion que de me faire 
i'aumcne, de maniere a m'en fauver im peu Tem- 
barras (^) ; je puis dire que cette aflfedation conti- 
nuelle & choquante eft une des chofes qui m'ont 
£ait prendre le plus en averiion le scjour de Lon- 
dres. Ce n'eft siirement pas fur ce pied qu'il fiaiut 
prcfenter en Angleterre un homme ^ qui Ton 
veut attirer un peu de confideration : mais cette 
charite peut-^tre bcnignement interprctce, fy je 
coiifens qu'elle foit. Avan9ons 

(') Jc nc mc rappcllc pat un mot dc toute cette hiftoire; 
mais ce qui me difpeDfc d'y ajouter foi| c'eft que je me fouTient 
tres-bien que nous avions pns denx jours different pour ?ifiter 
le muf^um Sc pour allcr a la comedie. 

(*) J'lmagiue que M. RoufTeau veut parler ici de deux ott 
trois diucrs qui lui furent envoyes de la matfoa de M. Stewart 
Iprfqu'il youlut manger chcz lui ; Sc ce n*^toit pas pour lot 
£>pargncr la ddpcnfe d'un.repas, mats feulement parcir qu'il n*f 
avoit pas de traiteur dans le Toifinage. Je d^minde pardon 
aux Icdteurt de let entretenir de femblables details. 

« On 



** Oh rcpand ^ Pzxis une faufle lettre du Koi 
de Prufle, a moi addreflce & pleine de la plus 
cruelle malignite. J'apprends avec furprife que 
c'eft un M. Walpole, ami de M. Hume, qui repand 
cette lettre ; je lui demande fi cela eft vrai ; maii 
pour toute reponfe il me demande de qui je le 
tiens. Un moment auparavant, il m'avoit dcmn6 
une carte pour ce mdme M. Walpole, afin qu- il fe 
chargeit de papiera qui m^portent, & que je veux 
faire venir de Paris en a&retc. 

** J'apprends que le fils du • Jongleur Tron* 
chin, mon plus mortel ennemi, eft non-feulement 
rami, le protege de M. Hume, mais qu'ils logent 
enfemble, & quand M. Hume voit que je fats cela, 
il m'en fait la confidence, m'aflurant que le fils nt 
refTemble pas au pere. Pai loge quelques nuiti 
dans cette maifon chez M. Hume avec ma gou- 
vernante, & a I'air, i Taccudl dont nous ont ho- 
nores fes hotefles, qui font fes amies, j'ai juge i la. 
fa9on dont liii ou cet homme qu*il dit ne pas ref« 
fembler a fon pere, ont pu leur parler d'elle & de 
moi (•}. 

« Ces 

* Nous n'atoBt pas 6ii lotoriftt k fupprimer cette iojarc ; 
mais clle eft trop groffierc 3e trop gntoite pour bleffcr k dkbrt 
fe eftimable medecio fur qui elle tombe.-^iVo/r des E^iurs. 

(^) Me ▼oHa done accufe de trahifon parce que je fuis Taml 
de M Walpole, qui a fait une plaifantcrie fur M. RouflSrao| 
parce que le fils d'un homme, que M. Roufiean n'aime pat, ft 
trouvc par hafard log^ dans la m^me maifon que moi \ parce 
i|ue met b6te3es^ qui ne firrent pas un mot de Franpkt ont 

113 regard^ 

♦* Cf s ffucs copiWnes e^tr*cvi^ & avc? mc ccrw 
^^s^ .^pparei^ce ^eacrale me dooaeoit ioli^bk* 
9le^t une kquittude que je riepouilk avec horre^ft 
CjependaiU les lectres que j'ecri$ n'arrivent pa^ i 
y^n re9pis quj pat cte ouve^s, ^ toutes oat pfuS^ 
ptur.les laaiBS de M» KumeC^). Si qud^u^iiuie lu| 
ivi^pp^$ U ne peut cacber Tardente aWdite de 1a 
yoir. Un foir, je yqis encore cbez lui ime mi^ 
a[<pu¥re 4e Jettre 4pfU je f uis frappe *, Apr^ 1? 


r^rd^ M. Roufleau froidement I - Au tefte, j^ti dit (r^Imient 
f M llouffeau que 1^ jjciine Tronchin u'a?oit pas ^Dtre lui Ics 
mftmes {Preventions qae fpn pere. 

. ('0). Oct impiUatirms d'iadifcretSon k d'infidelit^ font Q 
p^^lea, 6c le« preuYCf «Q font fi riciicules, que jc m<; crou 4sf* 
pen£e d'y repondre. 

' * Vf^^ ^''^ ^^ 7"*' ^'^ 7*^ ^^''* man^utvre, Jfecrtvou/ur /a 
/tff/r </? M. Hume, en Jon abfence^^ une riponfe a, une Uttre quejc 
kfetsou (k recevoir, II arrive, tris turleux de fanMr ce ^ fieri* 
nxM ^ m pouvofit prefque s^abf.ettir iPy lire. Je forme wta ktir$ 
h/isja lui montrer^ iS comnpeje /a meitoit Jam ma poche^ U la de* 
V^anje avi*iementi tflffin! qu*U Pen < err a le lendemaim jour de fojie^ 
La leJtre re/ie fur fa idle l^ord Ne^vnham arrive, Af . Jiumefort 
$tn moment ; je reprens nta httrey ihfant que j*aurai le temps de 
Venvyer le lemkumin. Lord Newnbum m*qffre de Penvoyer par 1$ 
fagMetide M P Jmbajfadcur de France :j*aciepte M* Hume renht 
fandrs que Lord Nfivr.h 'm fait fan enve/oppe ; il tire fin cachet i^ 
ili. Hiitne ojfre avec lant d^emprejjiment iitfUJauj i*emfervir 
far prejerenfg. On Jo^net Lord hU'witbnm doune la lettre au la* 
quais de AL Hutfte P'^ur la remettre aujteu qui atlend tt^dfos awf 
jbn carrojfi. ojln quU la pciU cIht, M L\. tuLuJfcdcur /: peinfi U 
faquais de .h, Hume eioit bars </(C la torte que je njedii.jepartk 

i-me le muitre va /ejMvre: d ny num^ufi pus. Neficbani lommcni 
njjffer feal Alylord hiiitdjuiu fiifani quelque tempi avant que dc 
Jiti\r( ^ w^/i Uur AL Hume ; je n* upper cui rietty f^ai^ il vit ires- 



fouper, gardant tous deux le fiience au coin de foil 
feu, je m'apper(ois qu'il me fixe, . comme il lui 
arrivoit fouvent & d'une maniere dont Tidee eft 
difficile a rendre. Pour cette fois, foa regard fec^ 
ardent, moqueur & prolongc, devint plus qu*in^ 
qui^tant. . Pour m'en debarrafler, j'efl&yai de le 
fixer a mon tour ; mais en arretant mes yeux fur 
les fiens, je fens un frcmifleaient inexplicable, & 
bientot je fuis force de les baifTer. La pbyfionQmi^ 
ic le ton du bon David font d*un bon homme, majs^ 
oily grand Dieu I ce bon homme emprunte-t-il les 
yeux dont il fixe fes amis ? 

^^ L'imprefiion de ce regard me relle & m'agite ; 
mon trouble augmente jufqu'au faififlement: H 
Tcpanchement n'eilt fucc^de, j'etouffois. Bientpt 
un violent remords me gagne, je m'indigne de 
moi-meme; enfin dans un tranfport que je mei 
rappelle enq^re avec delices, je m'dance i fon CQU^ 
je le ferre etroitement ; fufibque de fanglots, inondc 
dfe larmes, je m'ecrie d'un voix entrecoup^e: 
Non^ non^ David Hume n*e/l pas un traitre ; s'U 
n*etoit le meilleur des bommes^ ilfaudroit qu^il en fut 
le plus noir (")• David Hume me rend poliment 
mes embraifemens, & tout en me frappant de 

hlcn qui yitaU mqniei. Ainfi guoiqveje tCtue re^u amuns riponft i 
ma Ifttrc^ je ne doule pas fu*el/e nejoit pdrveniu ; vmtsje douie vn 
peuyje Pavoue, qu^elle n*Mt pas Hi lue auparavant, 

(") Tout le dialogue de cette fccne eft artiBcieufement con* 
cert^ pour preparer ft fonder une partie de ta fable tifliie dant 
cette Lcttrc. On verra cc que j*ai a dire fur cet article dans 
ma r^poDfe k M. Roufieau* 

I i 4 petits 


petits coups fur le dos, me repete plufieurs fois d'un 
ton tranquille : Quoh ^f^^ cber Monjteur ! Eb tnon 
cher Monfieur ! Quoi donc^ mon iber Monfteur ! II 
Be me dit rien de plus \ je fens que mon coeur fe 
reiTerre ; nous allons nous coucher, & je pars le 
lendemaxn pour la proviiice. 

*♦ Arrive dans cet agr^able afyle oh j'ctois veim 
ehercher' le repos de fi loin, je devois le trouver , 
dans une maifon folitaire, commode & riante, dont 
le mattre, homme d'efprit & de mcrite, n'epargnoit 
rien de cc qui pouvoit m*en faire aimer le fcjour. 
Mais quel repos peut*on goilcer dans la vie quand 
ie cccur e(l agitd ! Trouble de la plus etiielle 
incertitude, & ne fachant que penfer d'un homme 
que je devois aimer, je cherchai a me delivrer de 
ce doute fimefte en rendant ma confiance a mon 
bienfiaiteur. Car, pourquoi, par quel caprice in- 
concevable eiit-il eu tant de zele a I'exterieur pour 
mon bien-ctre, avec des projets fecrets contre mon 
honneur? Dans les obfervations qui m'avolent 
inquicte, chaque fait en lui-mcme etoit peu de 
chofe, il n*y avoit que leur concours d'^tonnant, & 
peut-etre inftruit d*autres faits que j'lgnorois, M, 
Hume pouvoit-i!, dans un eclairciffement, me don- 
ner une folution fiitisfaifante. La feule chofe in- 
explicable etoit qiril fe tut refufc a un eclairciffe- 
ment que fon honneur & fon amiric pour moi ren- 
doient cg^lemcnt nt ceffiiiret }^ voyuis qu*il y avoit 
Ja quelque chofe qiie je ne comprenois pas & que 
je mourois d'envjc d*entendre. Avant done de me 
decider abfplumcnt fur fon compte, je voulus faire' 


David humz, atpendix^ no. hi. 4tgf 

un denrier effort & lui 6crire pour le ramener, ^3 
fe laiffoit feduire i mes ennemis, ou pour le faire 
cxpliquer de maniere ou d*autre. Je lui ccrivis 
una lettre qu'il dut trouver fort naturelle • s^ 
f toit coupable, mais fort extraordinaire s*il ne Tctoit 
pas : car, quoi de plus extraordinaire qu'une 
Icttre pleine a le fois de gratitude fur fes fer- 
vices & d'inquictude fur fes fentiinents, & ou, 
mettant, pour ainfi dire^ fes afUons d'an c6i6 & fes 
intentions de Tuutre, au lieu de parler des preuves 
d'amitie qu'il m'-avoit donn^es, je le prie de rn'ai- 
mer a caufe du bien qu*il m'avoit fait (")? Je n'ai^ 
pas pris mes precautions d'affez loin pour garder 
une copie de cette lettre ; mais, puifquMl les a 
prifes lui, qu*il la montre ; & quiconque la lira,' 
y voyant un Homme tourmente d'une pdne fo 
crette, qu'il veut faire entendre & qu'il n'ofe'dire, 
fera curieux, je m'affure, de favoir quel cclairciffe- 
ment cette lettre aura produit, fur-tout a la fuite 
de la fcene prccedente. Aucun, rien du tout* 
M. Hume fe contente en rcponfe, de me parler des 
foins obligeans que M. Davenport fe propofe de 
prendre en ma faveur. Du rede, pas im mot fur 
le principal fujet de ma lettre, ni fur Wtat de mon 
coeuF dont il devoit fi bien voir le tourmeht. Je 
fus frappf de ce filence encore plus que je ne I'a* 


• II paroU par cf qu*ll m*ecrii en drrhitr Reu qu^'J <fl tret-contm^ 
Ji ceite Uttre^ li qu'il la Irouvefort hi^tu 

(") Ma reponfe a ccla eft dans |a kttre m€roe dc M« Roiif- 
feau, du 22 Mars* ou Ton trouve k ton de la plus grande cor* 
^alit^i f9m aucun^ rcfiprvc, fans b moindre apparcnce de fot|p« 



etc de fon flegme.inotre dernier entredent 
JParois tort, ce filence ctoit fort paiiu-el^pr^ Tautrc, 
U j^aurois du m^y atteDdre« Car quand oa a oic 
dire tn face a ua homme ; Jc Jw Unte de vom 
awre un iraHrt^ & qu'il n'a paa U curiofite de vout 
desnauder fwr qmi ('0» ^*on peut compter qu'i^ 
A^aura pareille curiofite de ia vie, & pour peu quq 
lea indices le cbargent^ cet hooune eil jugc* 

^ Apr^s la reception de fa lettre* qm tarda 
beaucoup, je pHs enfin mon parti, & refolus de ne 
ioi pli^ ccrire. Tout me coniirma bientot dans la 
rcfolution de rompre avec lui tout commerce. 
Curieux au dernier point du detail de mcs moin« 
drc$ affaires, il ne s'etoit pas borne a s*en informer 
demois dans nos entretiens, ftiais j*appris qu'aprJs 
aroir commence par fjtire avouer a ma gouvemante 
gu'elle en ctoit inllruite, il n'avoit pas laiflc cchapper 
^vec die unfeultete-a-tete(**)fansrinterroger jufqu'i 
l^portuiiite furmes occupations, fur mcs reflburces^ 
fur mes amis, fur mcs connoiffances, fur Icur noms^ 
|eur ciat, kur dcmeurc, & avec une addreffa Jc^ 
fiptique, il avoit demande scparcment les memes 
cbofes a elle & a moi. On doit prendre intcret 
911X affaires d'un ami, mais on doit fe contenter 
4e ce qu'il veut nous en dire,' fur-tout qu^d il eft 

(*') ToHt ccki port€ fur b m^mc fabfc. Vgy^j la iic 

(*') J^ "'** ^" qu'un feul tfte itcte avec fa gouyernantei 
cc ful loi fq'.i'cUc aniva a LoDdrcs. J'avouc qu'ii nemevint 
pas d^ns I*eip> it de rcntrcteniV d'ukitrc chofc qiic de M Roiif« 



audi puvert, aiuffi confiant que moi, & tout ce petit 
cailletage de commerce couvieat| on ne peut pa« 
plus mal, a un philofophe« 

^' Dans le meme temps je re^ois encore deu;K 
lettres qui ont etc ouvertes, L'une de, M. Bot 
well, dont le cachet etoit en fi mauvais etat qum 
M* Davenport, en la recevant, le fit remarquer au 
(aquais de M. Hume ; & Tautre de M. d'lverAois, 
^ans un paquet de M* Hume, laquelle avoit etc 
recachetee au o^oyen d'un fer chaud qui^ mala^ 
droitement applique, avoit brule le papier autour 
de I'empreinte. J'ccrivis a M. Davenport pour le 
(Hier de garder par»devers lui toutes les lettres 
qui lui feroient rem^fes pour moi, Sc de n'en re* 
piettrc aucune a perfonne, fous quqlque prctexto 
que ce fiit, J'ignore fi M. Davenport, bien eloigne 
de penfer que cette precaution pAt rcgarder M> 
Hume, lui montra ma lettre ; mais je fais que 
tout difoit a celui-ci qu'il avoit perdu ma confiance, 
^ qu'U n'en alloit pas moins fon train fans s'cqi^ 
))arra0er d^ la recouvren 

^^ Mais que devins«je lorfque je vis dans les pa* 
piers publics la pretendue itttre du Roi de Prufle 
que je n'avois pas encore vue, oette faufle lettre, 
imprimee en Francois ^ en Anglois, donnee pour 
vraie, m^me avcc la fignature du roi, & que j'jr 
irecontius la plume de M. d' Alembert * auffi fi&re- 
jnent que fj ie la Ivii jiyois yw cgrire ? 

* Voycz la dc/Tas la declaration de M. d'AIembeit impri* 
mtt \ h fin 4^ C(Ue bro^bvire.— A^o/r4 d^s EJbeuru 


•* A Hnftaiit on trait de lumicre vint' m*eclaircif 
ftnr bi caufe fe ere tte du chahgement ctonnant ic 
prompt dii public Atiglois i men egard, & je vis a 
Paris le foyer du complot qui s'executoit a Loiu 
Ares. ' 

• •* M. d'AIembert, autre ami tres-intime de M, 
Hume, ttoit depuis long-temps mon ennemi cache, 
Sc n'tpioit que les occaiions de me nuire fans fe 
commettre ; il ctoit le feu! des gens de lettres d'un 
certam nom & de mes anciennes connoifiances qui 
ne me ffit point venu voir ('^^ on qui ne m'eAt 
rren fak dire a mon dernier paffage a Paris. Je 
cxmnoiffois fes difpofitions fecrettes, mais je m*eh 
mquictois peu, me contentant d*en avertir mes amis 
dans Toccafion. Je me fouviens qu*iin jour," quef- 
tioime fur fon compte par M. Hume, qui queflionna^ 
de mcme enfuite ma gouvernante, je lui dis que 
M. d*Alembert etok un homme adroit & ruse. l\ 
jrre ccntredit avec un chaleur doni je m'ctonnai, ne 
fechant pas alors quails ttoient fi bien enfembkt & 
que c'ctoit fa propre caufe qu'il defendoit, 

• * • * • 

•* La lecture de cette lettre m'alarma beaucoiip, 
k fentant que j avois etc attire en Angleterre en 
vertw d'un projet qui commen^oit a s'execuler, 
mars Jont j*igiiorois le but, je fentois le peril fans 
{Avoir o\x il pouvoit ctre ni de quoi j'avois a me 
garanlir ; je me mppcllai rvlors quatre mots effray- 

C^) M. RoniTfM) cUnt txcedt', difoit-n, des viTitfS q'll rc- 
CTToit ; doiril fe plaindre que Nf. d'AIcmbtit, qa*»l n'aiinoit 
pas, uc Tail pas importune dt la iitiiHC ? ' 




ans de M. Hume, que je rapporterai ci-aprcs, Que 

penfer d'un ecrit oii Ton me faifoit un crime de 

mes miferes ; qui tendoit a m'6ter la commifera- 

tion de tout le monde dans mes malheurs, & qu'on 

donnoit fous le iiom du prince meme qui m'avott 

protege, pour en rendre I'effet plus cruel encore ? 

Que devois-je augurer de la fuite d'un tel dtbut? 

Le peuple Anglois lit les papiers publics, & a'eft 

pas d6ja trop favorable aux etrangers. Un vete- 

ment qui n'eft pas le fien fuffit pour le mettre de 

mauvaife humeur. Qu'en doit atten^re un pauvre 

jctranger dans fes promenades champetres, le feul 

plaiiir de la vie auquel il s'efl borne, quand on aura 

perfuade a ces bonnes gens que cet homme aime 

qu'on le lapide ? ils feront fort tentc de lui en 

donner ramufement. Mais ma douleur, ma dou- 

leur profonde & cruelle, la plus amere que j'aie 

jamais reiTentie, ne venoit pas du peril auquel j'etois 

expofc. J'en avois trop brave d'autres pour ctre 

fort emu de celui-la. La trahifon(**) d'un haix 

ami, dont j'etois la prole, etoit ce q«^ portoit dans 

pion coeur trop fenfible Taccablement, la tdftefle & 

la mprt. Dans Timpetuofitc d*un premier mouve- 

ment, dont jamais je ne fus le maitre, & que mes 

adroits eanemis ftivent faire naitre pour s'en prcva- 

('^} Ccfaux ami, c*eft iroi, fans doute ; maii cette irain/im 
quelle cd-cUe ? Quel roal ai-je fait ou ai je pu faire a M. Rouf- 
feau ? £n me fuppofaiit le projet cadi6 de le perdre, oomment 
pouvois-je y parvenir par les f;rrvices que je lui rendoit ? Si 
M. Roufleau eo ^toit cru,.on me trouveroit bien plus imb^tlc 
que m^hant. 


4^4 ^i^< ANO witiTiKGS or 

loir, j'ccris des lettres pldnes de defordre ou je ntf 
di^guife ni mon trouble ni mon indignation* 

^^ Moniieur, j'sd tant de chofe a dire qu'en che« 
min faifant j'en oublie la nioitic. Par exemple^ 
use relation en forme de lettre Air mon fejour ^ 
Montmorency fut portee par des iibraires k M« 
Hume qui me ia montra. Je confentis qifelte fut 
xmprimee ; il fe chargea d'y veiller ; elle n'a jamais 
paru* J^avois app<Mrte un ex^mplaire des lettres 
lie M. du Peyrou conteiKmt la relation des affaires 
de Neufehitel qui me regardent ; je les remis auz 
mSmes Iibraires I leur priere pour les fake tra- 
duire & reimprimer ; M. Hume fe chargea tf'y 
Tciller; elles n'ont jamais paru*. D^s que la 
htjSe lettre du Roi de PrulTe & fa traduction pa*^ 
mrenty je compris pourquoi les autres ecrits re- 
txment fupprimes('^% & je re<:rivis aux Iibraires* 
J'^rivis d'autres lettres qui probablement ont 
couru dans Londres: enfin j'employai le ci^diC 
d'un homme de m£rite & de qualite pour faire met* 
fire dans les papiers une declaration de Timpofture* 
Dam celte declaration, je laiiTois paroitre toute ma 
donleur^ & js n'en deguifbis pas la caufe* 

* Les Iibraires vUmient de me marquer que celte eStlion efl 
ftnle C5f prele a paroUre, Cela peui-etre^ mail c*ejl trap tard, Isf qui 

('^) n y a environ qnalti^ roots que M. Becket, Hbr^ire, dit 
k M« RottfKfau que t'exoit une maladie farvenue au traduc- 
Uur qui avoit retarde cette publication. Au refte je n'ai ia- 
mass promift de donner aucun foin a ctt edition. M« Beckei. 
n'ca eft garaut. ' 

- **Jufqu' 


•• Jufqu'id M. Hume a fembic marcher dans les 
t^nebres. Vous I'allez voir deformais dans la Ia« 
miere & marcher a decouvert. II ir*y a qu'a tern- 
jours aller droit avcc les gens rufcs : t6t ou tard ils 
fe decelent par leurs rufes m^mes. 

*• Lorfque certe pretendue lettre du Rc^ de 
Piiiffe fut publiee a Londres, M. Hume, qui cer* 
tainement favoit qu'elle etoit fuppofee, puifque je le 
lui avois dit, n'en dit rien, ne m*ecrit lien, fe tait & 
ne fonge pas mSme 1 faire, en faveur de fon ami ab- 
fent, aocune declaration de la verite (**}• II ne fallok^ 
pour aller au but, que laifler dire v& fe tenir coi } 
c'eft ce qu'il fit. 

** M. Hume ayanr etc mon condudeur ca AUc 
gleterre, y etoit, en quelque fa9on, mon prote&ear, 
mon patron. S'il etoit naturel qu'il prit ma dS^* 
fenfe, il ne I'etoit pas moins qu'ayant une proteAa- 
tion pubtique ^ faire, je m'adreflaffe a lui pour cefau 
Ayant dcji ceffe ('•) de lui ecrire, je n*avois garde 
de recommencer. Je m'adreffe a un autre. Pre- 
mier foufflet fur la joue de mon patron. II n^mk 
fent rien. 

** En difant que la lettre etoit fabriquee a Pa- 
ris, il m^imponoit fort peu lequei on entendtt de 

(**) Perfonne ne pouvoit fe meprendre fur la foppofition dt' 

It lettre* & d^ailleurs M. Wilpole ^tolt connu pour eo etre 


(^ M. Rotrfleau manque id de m^moire. II oablie que 
fciilemciit hait jours auparavant il m'ayoit ccric une lettre tret* 

cordiale. Ftytx la kttn du 39 Mar%* 

13 M. d'Alera. 


M. d' Alembert ou de fon pretc-nom M. Walpok ; 
mas en ajoutant que ce qui navroit & dechiroit moa 
ccsur ctoit que l^mpofteur avoit des complices en 
Angleterre, je m'expliquois ayec la plus grand 
dart^ pour leur ami qui ctoit a Londres^ & qui 
vouloit pafler pour le mien. II n'y avoit certaine^ 
men! que lui feul en Angleterre dont la haine put 
d^chirer & navrer mon coeur. Second foufflet fur 
la joue de mon patron. II n'en fent rien* 

^ Au contraire, il feint malignement que n^on 
afilidion venoit feulement de la publication de 
cette lettre, afin de me faire paiTer pour un homme 
vain qu'une fatyre affede beaucoup. Vain ou non, 
j^ctoit mortellement afHigc ; il le favoit & ne m'c- 
crivoit pas un mot. Ce tendre ami, qui a tant a 
coeur que ma bourfe foit pleine, fe foucie afiez pea 
que mon coeur foit dcchire. 

Un autre cent paroit bientot dans les meme 
fcuillcs de la meme main que le premier, plus cruel 
encore, s'il ctoit pof&ble, & oil Tauteur ne put 
dcguifcr fa rage fur Taccueil que j'avois re9U a. 
Paris C*'). Get ecrit ne m*aft'efta plus ; il ne 
m*apprenoit rien de nouvcau. Les libelles pou- 
voient aller leur train fans m^mouvoir, & le vobge 
public lui-mcme fe lailoit d'etre long-tempsoccupc 
du meme fujtt. Ce n'eft pas le compte des com* 
^otteurs qui, ayant ma reputation d'honnete 

{*") Jc o'ai aucunc connoiiTancc de ce prelcndu libcUe. 



homme I detruire, veulent de maniare ou d'autif 
en venir a bout. Ill iallut changer de batterie» 

^^ L'aflfaire de la penfion n'etoit pas terminee* II 
ne fut pas difficile a M. Hume d'obtenir de Thu^ 
manite du Miniftre & de la gaierofitc du Prince 
qu'elle le fut. II fiit charge de me le marquer, ii 
le fit. Ce moment fut, je Tavoue, un des plu$ 
critiques de ma vie. Combien il m'en codta pour 
faire mon devoir! Mes engagement prec^dens^ 
Tobligation de correfpondre avec refpeS aux bon» 
tes du Roi, Thonneur d'etre Tobjet de fes atten^ 
tions, de ceiles de fon Miniftre^ le defir de mar^ 
quer combien j'y etois fenfible, meme Tavantage 
d'etre un peu plus au large en approcbant de la 
vieillefTe, accable d'ennemies & de maux, enfin 
I'embarras de trouver une excufe honnete pour 
cluder \m bienfait dtja prefqu'accepte ; tout me 
rendoit difficile & cruelle la n^effite d'y renoncer f 
car il le falloit aflurement, ou me rendre le plus vil 
de tous les bommes en devenant volontairement 
l'oblig6 de celui dont j'ctois trahi* 

** Je fis mon devoir, non fans peine ; j'ccrivii 
direflement a M. le General Conway, 3c avec 
autant de refpeft & d'honnetetc qu'il me fut pof- 
fible, fans refus abfolu, je me d^fendis pour le pre- 
fent d'accepter. M. Hume avoit ete le negociateur 
de Taffaire, le feul meme qui en eut parle ; non 
feulement je ne lui repondis point, quoique ce Tut 
lui qui m'eut ecrit, mais je ne dis pas un mot de lui 
dans ma leltre. Troifieme foulHet fur h joue de 

K k mon 

49^ tltlS, AND WRITIKC^S Of 

• ... 

mon patron, & pour celui-la, s'il ne le fent pas, c'efl 
aflurement & faute : il n'en fent rien. 

** Ma lettre n'etoit pas claire & ne pouvoit Tetre 
pour M. le General Conway, qui ne favoit pas 
a quoi tenoit ce refiis, mais elle I'etCHt fort pour 
M. Hume qui le favoit tres-bien; cependant il 
feint de prendre le change tant fur le fujet de ma 
douleur, que fur celui de mon refus, & dans un 
billet qu'il m'ecrit, il me fiait entendre qu'on me 
m^nagera la continuation des bontes du Roi fi je 
me ravife fur la penfion. En un mot il pretend a 
toute force, & quoi qu'il arrive, demeurer mon 
patron malgre moi. Vous jugez bien, Monfieur, 
qu'il n'attendoit pas de rcponfe & il n*en eut 

" Dans cemc me tems a-peu-prcs, car je ne fais 
pas les dates, & cette exactitude ici n'eft pas ne- 
ceflaire, parut une lettre de M, de Voltaire a moi 
adrelTee avec une tradudtion Angloife, qui ren- 
cherit encore fur I'original. Le noble objet de ce 
fpirituel ouvrage eft de m'attirer le mepris & la 
haine de ceux chez qui je me fuis rcfugic. Je ne 
doutai point que mon cher patron n'eiit etc un des 
inftrumens de cette publication, fur-tout quand je 
vis qu'en tachant d'aKcner de moi ceux qui pbu- 
voient en ce pays me rendre la vie agreable, on 
avoit omis de nommer celui qui m'y avoit conduit. 
On favoit fans doute que c'ttoit un foin fuperflu 
& qu*a cet egard rien ne reftoit a feire. Ce nom 
fi mal adroitement oublie dans cette lettre, me rap- 



pella ce que dit Tadte du portrat de Brutus omis 
dans une pompe funebre, que chacun Vy diftinguoity 
precifcment parce qu'il n'y etoit pas. 

'^ On ne nommoit done pas M. Hume ; mais 
il vit avec les gens qu'on nommoit. II a pour 
amis tous mes ennemis, on le fait: ailleurs lea 
Tronchin ("), les d'Alembert, les Voltaire ; mais 
il y a bien pis a Londres, c'eft que je n'y ai pour 
iennemis que fes amis. Eh ! pourquoi y en aurois-je 
d'autres ? Pourquoi meme y ai-je ceux-la ? Qu'aie- 
je fiait a Lord Littleton (**), que je ne connois 
m6me pas ? Qu*ai-je fiiit a M. Walpole que je ne 
connois pas davantage? Que favent-ils de moi^ 
iinon que je fuis malheureux & I'ami de leur 
ami Hume ? Que leur a-t-il done dit, puifque ce 
n'eft que par lui qu'ils me connoiflfent : Je crois 
bien qu'avec le r61e qu'il fiait, il ne fe d^mafque 
pas devant tout le mondej ce ne feroit 

(") Je n'ai jamais ^te aflez beureuz pour me rencontrer avec 
M. de Voltaire ; il m'a fait fculement I'honneur de m'^crire 
une lettre il y a environ trois ans. Je n'ai vu de ma vie M. 
Tronchin, & je n'ai jamais eu le moindre commerce avec Ici. 
Quant a M. d'Alcmbert, je me fais glorie de fon amitie. 

(^') M. Roufieau voyant dans les papier s publics Tannonce 
d'une lettre qui lui ^toit adrefiee fous le nom de M. de Vol- 
Uire, ecrivit a M. Davenport, qui etoit alors a Londres, pour 
Jeprier de la lui apporter. Je dis a M. Davenport que la copic 
imprimee etoit tres-fautive ; mais que j'en demanderois au Lord 
Littleton une copie manufcrite qui etoit corredie. Cela fuflit 
a M. RouITeau pour lui faire condure que le Lord Littleton eft 
fon ennemi mortel 8c mon intime ami, & que nous confpirons 
enfemble contre lui. II auroit d{^ .plut6t conclure que la copie> 
qui avoit cte imprimeei nc venoit pas de moi. ' 

K k a plus 

j^eo JUtf ji Aiie wmiTuras of 

plus £trt mtfque. Je crois bien qu^l ne parle pai 
4e moi ^ M. le G^n^nd Conway ni i M« le Due 
de Richmond, oomme il en parte dans fes entre- 
tiens fecrets avec M. Walpole, & dans fa corref- 
pondanee fecrete avec M» d'Alembert ; itiais qu^on 
decouvre la trame qui s'ourdit a. Londres depuis 
man arriYee, & Ton verra fi M» Hume n'eki tient 
pas les priiicipauz fils* 

^* Enfia le momeat Tsnu qu'on crok propre 
a frapper le grand coup, on en prepare VeSet par 
tm nouvel ecrit fiityrique qu*on fait mettre dans 
ks papiers(^0» S'il m'etoit refte jufqu'alors le 
xnoindre doute, comment aurcHt-t'il pu tenir devant 
eeC ecrit, puifqu'il conteroit des faits qui n'etoient 
connus que de M, Hume, charges, il eft vrai, pour 
k» rendre odieux au public* 

" On dit dans cet ecrit que j'ouvre ma porte aux 
grands & que je la ferme aux petits. Qui eft-ce 
qui fait a qui j'ai ouvert ou ferme ma porte, que 
M. Hume, avec qui j'ai demeurc & par qui font 
venus tous ceux que j'ai vus ? II fciut en excepter 
un grand que j'ai re9u de bon coeur fans le connoi- 
tre, Sc que j'aurois re^u de bien raeilleur coeur 
encore fi jc Tavois connu. Ce fut M. Hume qui 
me dit fon nom quand il fut parti. En Tapprenant 
j'eus un vrai chagrin que, daignant monter au fe- 
cond ctage, il ne id: pas ciurc au premier. 

(*') Je n'ai jamais vucttte pitce, ni avant ni aprea fa pvblf- 
catiuvy ^ tcuf cf us a qui j'en ai pa^Ie n'cn ont aucunc cou- 

" Quant 


*^ Quant tnz petitt, je n'^s rien a dire« raurois 
4^iir6 toir moins de monde $ mak, tte tcmlant d& 
plaire a perfonne, je me laUTois diriger fiar M» 
Hume, & j'ai re^u de mon mieux tous ceux qu'il 
m'a prefent^ faas diftin&icm d» petiti td de 

^ On dit dans ce mime ecrit, qiit je re^ii mti 
parens froidem^nt, p$ur ne rim dirt de flus* Cent 
generality confifU a avoir une fob rt^u aflez froidt* 
tnent le feul parent que j'aie hots de Geneve, <t ^ 
cela en prefence de M. HomeC^). C'eft necsC> 
fairement ou M. Hume ou ce parent qui a £ovnk 
cet article. Or mon coufm, que j'ai toujours 
connu pour bon parent & pour honnete homme, 
n'eft point capable de foumir a des fatyres pub* 
liques contre moi, D'aiileurs, bomi par ion 6tat 
a la fociete des gens de commerce, il ne vit pas 
avec les gens de lettres, ni avec ceux qui foumiflent 
des articles dans les papiers, encore moins avet 
ceux qui s'occupent d des fatyrei. Ainfi Tanicle 
ne vient pas de lui« Tout au plus puis-je penfer 
que M. Hume aura tachc de le faire jafer, ce qui 
n'efl p<is abfolument difEcile, ic qu*tl aura tourne 
ce qu'il lui a dit de la maniere la plus fiaivorable i 
fes vues. II eft bon d'ajouter qu'apr^s ma ruptuit 
avec AL Hume j'en avois icrit ft ce coufui 1&« 

('*) Je n'etois pas prefent, lorfqne M. HouHcau.rc^ut ioa 
coufin : Je les vis cnfuite CDfemble, un feul momcnCy fur la ter* 
raiFc de Buck Ingham- Street. 

K k 3 « Enfin, 


^^ Enfin, on dit daxis ce mcme ecrit que je fuis 
fujet a changer d'amis. II ne faut pas etre bien fin 
pour comprendre a quol dela prepare. 

^^ Diftinguons. J'ai depuis vingt-cinq & trente 
ans des amis tres-folides. J'en ai de plu^ nouveauz^ 
mais non moins fiirsi que je garderai plus long- 
temps fi je vis. Je n'ai pas en general trouvc la 
meme fUrete chez ceux que j'ai faits parmi les gens 
de lettres. AuiH j'en ai change quelquefois, & j'en 
changerai tant qu'ils me feront fufpeds ; car je 
fuis bien determine a ife garder jamais d*amis par 
bienfeance : je n'en veux avoir que pour les 

^^ Si jamais j'eus une conviftion intime & cer- 
taine, je I'ai que M. Hume a foumi les materiaux de 
cet ecrit. Bien plus, non-feulement j'ai cette 
certitude, mais il m'efl; clair qu'il a voulu que je 
Teuffe : car comment fuppofer un homme auffi fin,, 
aflez mal adroit pour fe decouvrir a ce point, voulant 
fe cacher ? 

** Quel ^toit fon but ? Ricn n'eft plus-clair «i. 
core. C'etoit de porter mon indignation a fon der- 
nier terme, pour amener avec plus d'cclat le 
coup qu'il me preparoit. II fait que pour me 
faire bien des fottifes il fufEt de me mettre en colere. 
Nous fomraes au moment critique qui montrera 
s'il a bien ou mal THifonne. 

♦* II 


' *^ II faut fe pofleder autant que fait M. Hume, 
H hut avoir fon flegme & toute & force d'efprit 
pour prendre le parti qu'il prit, apris tout ce qui 
s'ctoit pafle. Dans I'embarras ou j'etois, ecrivant 
^ M. le General Conway, je ne pus remplir ma 
lettre que de phrafes obfcures dont M. Hume fit^ 
comme mon ami, Tinterprctation qu'il lui plut, 
Suppofant done, quoiqu'il fiit tr^s-bien le contraire, 
que c'etoit la claufe du fecret qui me faifoit de la 
peine, il obtient de M, le General qu'il voudroit 
bien s'elnployer pour la faire lever. Alors cet 
homme Stoi'que & vraiment infenfible m'ccrit la 
lettre la plus amicale, oii il me marque qu'il s^€ft 
employe pour faire lever la claufe, mais qu'avant 
toute chofe il faut favoir fi je veux accepter fans 
cette condition, pour ne pas expofer Sa Majefle a 
un fecond refus, 

^^ C'etoit ici le moment dccifif, la fin, Pobjet de 
tous fes travaux. II lui falloit une rcponfe, il la vou- 
loit. Pour que je ne puffe me difpenfer de la faire 
il envoye a M. Davenport un duplicata de fa lettre, 
& non content de cette precaution, il m'ecrit dans 
un autre billet qu'il ne fauroit refler plus long** 
temps a Londres pour mon fervice. La tete me 
touma prefque en lifant ce billet. De mes jours je 
n'ai lien trouvc de plus inconcevable, 

" II Pa done enfin cette rcponfe tant defiree,. & 
fe prefle deja d'en triompher. Dej^ ecrivant h 
M. Davenport, il me traite d'homme feroce & de 
monltre d'ingratitude. Mais il lui faut plus. Ses ' 

K k 4 mefures 


vsefures font biea prifes, a ce qu'il penft : nolle 
preuve contre lui ne peut ecbapper. U veut une 
explication : il Paura ; & la voicu 

^ Rien ne la conclut mieux que le dernier trait 
)}tii I'amene. Seul il preuye tout & fans rcplique. 


. <^ Je reux fuppofer^ par impoiEble, qu'U n'eft 
rien revenu i M. Hume de mes plaintes contre lui : 
il n'en fait rien, il lea ignore auifi parfiaitement que 
s^il n'eixt cte faufile avec perfonne qui en fidt io* 
ftrult, auili parfaitement que fi durant ce temps il 
eftt tecu a la Chine Q^). Mais ma conduite imme- 
diate entre lui & moi ; les derniers mots (i frap- 
puiB que je lui dis a Londres ; la lettre qui fuivit 
pldne d*inquictude & de crainte ; mon filence ob« 
ftine plus energique que des paroles ; ma plainte 
amere & publique au fujet de la lettre de M. d'A- 
lembert, ma lettre au Miniftre, qui ne m*a point 
ecrit, en reponfe a celle qu*il m'ecrit lui-m^me, 
& dans laquelle je ne dis pas un mot de lui ; enfin 
mon refus, fans daigner m'adreifer a lui, d'acqui* 
efcer a une affaire qu'il a traitee en ma faveur, moi 
le fachant) & (ans oppofition de ma part; tout cela 
parle feul du ton le plus fort, je ne dis pas a tout 
homme qui auroit quelque fentiment dans Tame, 
mais a tout homme qui n'efl pas hebetc. 

(•*) Comment auroiVje devlnt ces chimcriques foupgons ? 
M. Davcnpoi-t, \k ffule perfonne de m« connoiflance qui v!t 
lion M, Roofleau, m'^ffurc qu'il Ics ignoroit parfaitement lui* 

•' QuOl, 

DAVW HUMl^ Af MNOIX, M0« III. $^f 

^ Quoiy apr^ qua j'sd rompu tout commerce 
avec lui depuis prds de trois m6i8, aprds que je 
n'ai repondu a pas une de fes lettres, quelqu'im* 
portant qu'en fQt le fujet, environne des marques 
publiques & pardculieres de I'affiidtion que fon 
infidelite ce beau cet homme eclair^, me caufe, 
g^uie volontairement fi clair-voyant & miturelle* 
ment fi (lupide, ne voit rien, n'entend rien, ne fent 
lien, n'eft exnu de rien, & fans un feul mot de 
plainte, de juftification, d'explicaticn, il continue a 
fe donner, malgre moi, pour moi les foins les plus 
grands, les plus empreiTes! il m'ccrit aSedueufe* 
ment qu'il ne peut refter a Londres plus long»temps 
pour mon fervice, comme fi nous ctions d'accord 
qu*il y reftera pour cela ! Cet aveuglement, cette 
impaifibilite, cette obftination ne font pas dans la 
nature, il £aut expliquer cela par d'autres motifs. 
Mettons cette conduite dans un plus grand jour, 
car c'ed un point decifif« 

*^ Dans cette afiaire il faut nicefiairement que 
M. Hume foit le plus grand ou le dernier des 
hommes, il n'y a pas de milieu. Refte a voir lequei 
c'eft des deux. 

^^ Malgre tant de marques de dedain de ma 
part, M. Hume avoit-il Tetonnante gencrofitc de 
vouloir me fervir fince'rement ? 11 favoit qu'il m'c- 
toit impofTible d'accepter fes bons offices tant que 
j'aurois de lui les fentimens que j'avois con^us. II 
avoit ilude ['explication lui-mSme. Ainfi me fer« 



vant fans fe juilifier il rendoit fes foins inutiles ; il 
n'etoit done pas genereux. 

** S*il fuppofoit qu'en cet etat j'accepterois fes 
foins, il fuppofoit done que j'etois un infame. 
C'etoit done pour un homme qu'il jugeoit etre un 
infame, qu'il foliicitqit avee tant d'ardeur une pen* 
fion du .Roi ! Peut-on rien penfer de plus extrava* 

<^ Mais que M. Hume, fuivant toujours fon plan, 
fe foit dit a lui-m^me : voici le moment de Pexe« 
cution ; car, preflant Rouffeau d'accepter la pen- 
fion, il faudra qu'il Taccepte ou qu*il la refiife. S'il 
I'accepte, avee les preuves que j'ai en main, je le 
d6shonore eomplettement ; s'il la refufe aprcs l*a- 
voir aeceptee, on a Jeve tout pretexte, il fajiidra qu'il 
dife pourquoi. C'eft-Ia que je I'attends ; s*il m** 
aecufe il eft perdu. 

' *^ Si, dis-jc, M. Hume a raifonnc amfi, il a fait 
une ehofe fort eonfequentea fon plan, & par-la 
meme ici fort naturelle, & il n'y a que cette unique 
fa^n d'expliquer fa eonduite dans eette affaire ; 
car elle eft inexplicable dans toute autre fuppofition: 
fi ceci n'eft pas demontre, jamais rien ne le fera. 

** L*etat critique ou il m'a rcduit me rappelle 
bien fortement les quatre mots, dont j'ai parlc ci- 
devant, & que je lui entendis dire & repeater dans 
un temps oii je n'en ptnetrois gueres la force* 
C'etoit la premiere nuit qui fuivit notre depart de 



Paris. Nous 6tions couches dans la meme'cham- 
bre, & plulieurs fois dans la nuit, je Pentends 8*ecrier 
en Fran9ois avec une vehemence extreme (**) : Ji 
tiens 7. J. Roujfeau. J'ignore s'il veilloit ou s'il 
dormoit. L'expreilion eft remarquable dans la 
bouch^ d'un homme qui fait trop bien le Fran9ois 
pour fe tromper fur la force & le chobc des termes. 
Cependant je pris, & je ne pouvois manquer alors 
de prendre ces mots dans un fens favorable, quoique 
le ton I'lndiquat encore moins que Fexpreffion: 
c'eft un ton dont il m'eft impoflible de donner 
I'idee, & qui correfpond tres-bien aux regards dont 
j'ai parle. Chaque fois qu'il dit ces mots, je fentis 
un treilaillement d'effroi dont je n'etois pas le 
maitre : mais il ne me fallut qu*un moment pour, 
me remettre & rire de ma terreur. Des le lende- 
main tout fut fi pariaitement oublie que je n'y su 
pas meme penfe durant tout mon fejour a Londres 
& au voifmage. Je ne m'en fuis fouvenu quMd 
ou tant de chofes m'ont rappele ces paroles, & me 
les rappellent, pour-ainii-dire, a chaque inftant. 

** Ces mots dont le ton retentit fur mon coeur 
comme s'ils venoient d'etre prononccs, les longi 
& funefles regards tant de fois lances fur moi, lea 
petits coups fur le dos avec des mots de Mon cber 
Monfteur^ en reponfe au foup9on d'etre un traitre ; 

(''^) Jc nc faurois rcpondrc de cc que jc dis en r^vanty & jc 
fais encore moins ii c'cft en Fran9oi8 que jc rcvc ; miis M. 
Rouffeau, qui ne fait pas fi je dormois ou fi je veillois quand 
jc pronon^ois ces tcrriblcs paroles, avec line d terrible Toixy^eft* 
il certain d'avoir et6 bien cvcllle lorfqu'il lei a entendues } - ^i 



toot cela m'affefte i un tel poiQt apr^ le refte, que 
des ibuvetiirs, iuflent-ila les feuls^ fermeroient toot 
fetour I la confiancf , & il n*y a pas une nuit od 
^e^ mots, Ji iitns J. J. Rouffkfu^ ne fonnent encore 
i men Oreille, commt fi je les entendois de nou* 

^ Oui> M. Hume, irons me tenes^, je le fais, mais 
feulement par des chofes qui me font exterieures r 
vous me tene^ par I'opinion, par les jugemens des 
hommes \ vous me tenez par ma reputation, par 
ma furet6 peut-^tre ; tous les pr^juges font pour 
irons ; il vous efl aife de me faire paifer pour un 
monitre, comme vous avez commence, & je vois 
drjii Texultation barbare de mes iniplacables enne- 
mis. Le public, en general, ne me fera pas plu^ 
4le grace. Sans autre examen, il eft toujours pour 
les fervices rendus, parce que chacun eft bien aife 
d'inviter a lui en rendre, en montrant qu'il fait les 
fentir. Je prcvois aif^Sment la fuite de tout cela, 
fur-tout dans les pays oii vous m'avez conduit, & 
ou, fans amis, etranger a tout le monde, je fuis 
prefque a votre merci, Les gens fenfcs compreh- 
dront, cependant, que, loin que j'aie pu chercher 
cette aflaire, elle etoit ce qui pouvoit m'arriver de 
plus terrible dans la pofition oii je fuis : ils fentiront 
qu*il n'y a que ma haine invincible pour toute feuf- 
fete & rimpoflibilite de marquer de I'eftime a celui 
pour qui je Tai perdue, qui aient pu m'empecher 
de diffimuler quand tant d*interets m*en faifoient 
une loi : mais les gens fenfes font en petit nombre 
& ce nje font pas eux qui font du bruit. 

** Oui, 


^^ Oui, M. Hume, vous xne tenez par tcnis let 
Ucns de cette vie, mais vous ne me tenez ni. par 
ma vertu ni par mon courage, mdependant de voni ' 
& de8 hommeS) & qui me reftera tout entier malgri 
vous. Ne penfez pas m'efirayer par la crainte du 
fort qui m'attend. Je connois les jugemens dei 
hommes, je fuis accoutume a leur injuflice, & j'ai 
appris a les peu redouten Si votre parti eft pris, 
comme j'ai tout lieu de le croire, foyez fiir que le 
mien ne Ved pas moins. Mon corps eft affoiblit 
mais jamais mon ame ne fut plus ferme. Les 
bommes feront & diront ce qu'ils voudront, peu 
mimporte ; ce qui m'importe eft d'achever, commc 
j*ai commence, d'etre droit & vrai jufqu a la fin» 
quoiqu'il arrive, & de n^avoir pas plus a me re* 
procher une lachete dans mes miferes qu'une in* 
folence dans ma profperite, Quelque opprobre qui 
m'attende & quelque malheur qui me menace, j« 
fuis pret. Quoiqu*a plaindre, je le ferai moins que 
vous, & je vous laiffe pour toute vengeance le tour- 
raent de refpeder, malgre vous, I'infortune que 
vous accablez. 

•* En achevant cette lettre, je fuis furpris de la 
force que j'ai eue de Tecrire. Si Ton mouroit de 
douleur, j'en ferois mort a chaque ligne* Tout eft 
cgalement incomprehenfible dans ce qui fe paffe* 
Une conduite pareiiie a la votre n*eft pas dans la 
nature, elle eft contradi^toire, & cependant elle 
m'eft demontrce. Abyme des deux c6t($! Je 
peris dans Vnn ou dans Tautre* Je fuis le plus mal- 
beureujc des humains ft vous etes coupable, j*e& 

5 fuis 


fuis le plus vil (i vous £tes innocent. Vous me 
iaites deiirer d'etre cet objet mcprifable^ Oui, I'etat 
oii je me verrois proAerne, foule fous vos pieds^ 
ciiant mifericordo & fidiant tout pour I'obteniry 
publiant a haute vobc mon indignite^& rendant a 
vos vertus les plus eclatant hommage, feroit pour 
mon cceur un etat d'epanouiflement & de joie, 
apres Tetat d'etouSement & de mort oii vous I'avez 
mis. II ne me refte* qu'un mot a vous dire. Si 
vous etes coupable, ne m'ecrivez plus ; cela feroit 
inutile, & surement vous ne me tromperez pas. Si 
vous etes innocent, daignez vous juftifier. Je con« 
nois mon devoir, je I'aime & I'aimerai toujours, 
quelque rude qu'il puifle etre. II nfy a point d'ab- 
je&ion dont un cceur, qui n'eft pas ne^ur elle, 
ne puiffe revenir. Encore un coup, fi vous etes in* 
nocent, daignez vous juftifier : fi vous ne Tetes pas, 
adieu pour jamais.'' 

J« J. Iv. 

Je delibcrai quelque temps fi je ferois quelque 
rcponfe a cet etrange memoire ; a la fin je me de- 
terminai a ecrire la lettre fiiivante. 

M. Hums a M. Rousseau* 

" Monfieur, I-^ 22 JmlUt, 1766. 

*' Je ne repondrai qu'a un feul article de votre 
longue lettre ; c'eft a celui qui regarde la converfa^ 
tion que nous avons eue enfemble, le foir qui a pre- 
cede votre depart. ,M. Davenport avoit imagine 



un honnete artifice pour vous faire croire qu'il j 
avoit une chaife de retour prete i partir pour Woot- 
ton ; je crois meme qu'il le fit annoncer dans les 
papiers publics, afin de mieux vous tromper* Son 
intention etoit de vous epargner une partie de la 
depenfe du voyage, ce que je regardois comme un 
projet louable ; mais je n'eus aucune part a cette 
idee ni a fon execution. H vous vint cependant 
quelque foupcon de i'artifice, tandis que nous etions 
au coin de mon feu, & vous me reprochates d'y 
avoir partidpc : je tachai de vous appaifer*& de d^« 
toumer la converfation ; mais ce fut inutilement. 
Vous reflates quelque terns aflis, ayant un air fom- 
bre & gardant le filence, ou me repondant avec 
beaucoup d'humeur ; apres quoi vous vous levates 
& fites un tour ou deux dans' la chambre ; enfin 
tout d'un coup & a mon grand etonnement vous 
vintes vous jetter fur mes genoux, & paflant vos 
bras autour de mon cou, vous m'embraflates avec 
un air de tranfport, vous baignates mon vifage de 
vos larmes & vous vous ccriates : Mon cher aniif 
me pardonnerez-vous jamais cette extravagame ? 
Apres tant de pcines que vous avez prifes pour ;?/'- 
obliger^ apres les preuves d*amitie fans nombre qu4 
vous m*ave% donneesy fe peut-il que je paye vos fer* 
vices de tant d^bumeur l^ de brufquerie ? ' Mais en 
me pardonnanty vous me donnerez une nouvelle marque 
de votre amitiCy t5f j'efpere que lorfque vous verrez 
le fond de mon ctzur^ vous trouverez qiCil rCen e/l pas 
indigne. Je fus extrcmement touche, & je crois 
qu'il fe pafla entre nous une fcene tres-tendre« 

9 Vous 

51 1 . UF» AND WftITIKa» OF 

Vou$ ajoutatesy fans doute par forme de compH* 
meoty que quoique j'eufle d'autres dtres plus s<kr$ 
pour meriter T^me de la pofterite, cependant 
Fattacbement extraordinaire que je marquois i un 
Iiomme xnalheureux & perfecut^^iferoit peut-etre 
tomptc pour quelque chofe. 


^ Cet incident etoit afle;t remarquable, &; il eft 
tsipoiTible que vous ou moi Tayons fi promptement 
oublie ; mail tous avez eu I'afiurance de m'en 
parler deux fois d'une maniere fi diflFcrente, ou plu« 
tot fi oppofee, qu'cn perfiftant, comme je fais dana 
mon recir^ il s'enfuit neceifairement qu'un de nous 
deux eft un menteur. Vous imagines peut'^tre 
que cette avanture 6V:tant paflee entre^nous & &n$ 
temoinsy il faudra balancer ia credibility de votre 
tcraoignage & du mien ; tnais vous n'aurez pas cet 
tvantageou ce defavantage, de quelque maniere 
que vous vouliez I'appeller: je produirai contre 
vous d'autres preuves, qui mettront la chofe hors de 

** I. Vous n'avez pas fait attention que j'avois 
une lettre ccrite de votre main (') qui ne pent pas 
abrolument fe concilier avec votre rccit, & qui con- 
firme le mien. 

(') C'cft crlle 6i\ 7% Mars, qui e(l picine de cordialite 8c qui 
pvouvc que M. RoufiVau nc ro'avoil jamais laifle cntrevoir aucun 
dc CCS uoirs foup9Qns dt perfidie fur lefquels il infifte a prefcnt. 
On voit fculcrment a la fin de fa kttre quelques redes d'humeur 
i^r raffdite de fa chatlr. 

" a. J'ai 


** a. J'ai conte le fiadt le lendemain ou le furlen- 
demain a M. Davenport, dans l*intention d*em- 
pecher qu'il n'eAt recours, pour vous obliger dans 
la fuite, a de femblables finefles ; il s'en fouviendra 

*' 3. Comme cette avanture me paroiffoit vous 
faire hoimeur, je l*ai contee id a plufieurs de mes 
amis ; je Tai meme ccrite a Madame ♦ la C. de * * 
a Paris. Perfoime, je penfe, n'imaginera que je 
preparois d'avance une apologie, au cas que je me 
brouillaffe avec vous, cvenement que j*aurois re- 
garde alors comme le plus incroyable de tous les 
cvcnemens humains ; d'autant plus que nous ^tions 
peut-etre feparcs pour jamais, & que je continuois 
a vous rendre les fervices les plus effentiels, 

" 4. Le fait, tel que je le rapporte, eft confe- 
quent & raifonnable; mais il n*y a pas le fens 
commun dans votre recit. Quoi ! parce que dans 
quelques momens de diftraftion ou de reverie, affez 
ordinaires aux perfonnes occupees, j*aurai eu un 
regard fixe, vous me foup9onnez d'etre un traitre, 
& vous avez raffurance de me declarer cet atroce 
& ridicule foup9on ? Car vous ne pretendez pas 
- meme avoir eu, avant votre depart de Londres, 
d*autres motifs folides de foup9on contre moi ? 

" Je n*entrerai dans aucun autre detail fur votre 
lettre ; vous favez trop bien vous-meme combien 
tbus les autres articles en font dcnues de fonde- 

* Cette Dame « ezig^ qu'on fupprimat fon nom. — Note det 

h I ment. 


ment. J'ajouterai feulement en general que je goA- 
tois il y a un mois un plaifir trcs-fenfible, en fon- 
geant que'malgre bien des difficultes j'etois par- 
venu par ma conftance & mes foins, & par de-R 
meme mes plus vives efperances, a affurer votre 
repos, votre honneur & votre fortune ; mais cette 
jouiffance a bientot ^te fuivie de deplaifir le plus 
amer, en vous voyant gratuitement & volontaire- 
ment repoufler ces biens loin de vous, & vous de- 
clarer Tennemi de votre propre repos, de votre 
fortune, & de votre honneur ; dois-je-etre etonn^, 
apres cela, que vous foyez mon ennemi ? 

" Adieu & pour toujours." D, H. 

II ne me rede qu*a joindre a tous ces papiers la 
lettre que M. Walpole m'a ccrite & qui prouve que 
je n'ai eu aucune part a tout ce qui concerne la pre- 
tendue lettre du Roi de Pruffe. 

M. Walpole A M. Hume. 

ArUngton Street^ le 26 Julllet^ 1766. 

" Je ne peux pas me rappeller avec precifion le 
temps ou j'ai ccrit la lettre du Roi de Pru/fey mais 
je vous affure, avec la plus grande verite, que 
c*etoit plufieurs jours avant votre depart de Paris 
& avant Tarrivee de Roufleau a Londres ; & je 
peux vous en donner une forte preuve ; car, non- 
feulement par cgard pour vous, je cachai la lettre 
tant que vous reflates a Paris ; mais ce fut auffi la 
raifon pour laquelle, par dclicateffe pour moi-meme, 
je ne voulus pas aller le voir, quoique vous me 
TeuHiez Jbuvent propofe. Je ne trouvoia pas qu'il 

9 i^t 


fiit honnete d*aller faire une vifite cordiale a un 
homme, avant dans ma poche une lettre ou je le 
toumois en ridicule. Vous avez pleine libertc, 
mon cher Monfieur, de faire ufage foit aupres de 
Roufieau, foit aupres de tout autre, de ce que je 
dis ici pour votre juftification : je ferois bien fache 
d'etre caufe qu'on vous fit aucun reproche* J'ai 
un mepris profond pour Rouffeau & une parfaite 
indifference fur ce qu'on penfera de cette affaire ; 
mais, s*il y a en cela quelque faute, ce que je fuis 
bien loin le croire, je la prends fur mon compte. 
II n*y a point de talens qiii m'empechent de rire 
de celui qui les poffede, s'il e(l un charlatan j mais, 
s'il a de plus un cceur ingrat & mechant, comme 
Rouffeau Ta fait voir a votre egard, il fera deteftc 
par moi comme par tous les honnetes gens, &c." 

H. W. 

Je viens de donner une relation, auffi concife 
qu*il m*a etc poflible, de cette etrange affaire, qui, 
a ce qu*on m'a dit, a excit^ Tattention du public 
& qui contient plus d'incidens extraordinaires qu' 
aucune autre aventure de ma vie. 

Les perfonnes, a qui j*ai montre toutes les pieces 
originales qui etabliffent I'authenticite des faits, ont 
penfe diverfement, tant fur Tufage que je devois en 
faire que fur les fentimens aftuels de M. Rouffeau & 
fur I'ctat de fon ame. Quelques-uns pretendent 
qu'il eft abfolument de mauvaife foi dans la que- 
relle quMl me fait & dans Topinion qu'ila de mes 
torts : ils croyent que tous fes procedc« lont difikcs 
par cet orgiieil extreme qui forme < la bafe de fon 

L 1 2 cara£tere 


caraftere & qui le porte k chercher roccadon de 
refufer, avec eclat, un bienfait du Roi d*Angleterre, 
& en meme temps de fe dcbarraffer de Tintolcrable 
fardeau de la reconnoiflance en facrifiant a cela V 
honneur, la v^rite, Tamitie, & meme fon propre 
interet. lis apportent, pour preuve de leur opi- 
nion, Tabfurdite meme de la premiere fuppofition 
fur laquelle M. Rouifeau fonde fon reflentiment ; 
je veux dire, la fuppofition que c'eft moi qui ai fait 
imprimer la plaifanterie de M. Walpole, quoique 
M. Roufleau fache bien lui-meme qu'elle etoit re- 
pandue par*tout, a Londres comme a Paris. Comme 
cette fuppofition eft, d'un cote, contraire au fens 
commun, & de Tautre n'eft pas foutenue par la plus 
legere probabilite, ils en concluent qu'elle n'a ja- 
mais en aucune autorite, dans Tefprit meme de 
M. Rouifeau. lis confirment cette idee par la 
multitude des fidions & des menfonges que M. 
Rouffeau emploie pour juftifier fa colere, menfonges 
qui concement des faits fur lefquels il lui eft impof- 
fible de fe trompen lis oppofent auiE fa gaite & 
fdn contentement reels a cette profonde melancolie 
dont il feint d'etre accable. II feroit fuperflu 
d*ajouter que la maniere de raifonner qui regne 
dans toutes fes accufations eft trop abfurde pour 
operer dans Pefprit de qui que ce foit une convidion 

Quoique M. Roufleau paroifle faire ici le facri- 
fice d*un interet fort confidcrable, il faut obferver 
cependant que Targent n'eft pas toujours le princi- 
pal mobile das adions humaines : il y a des hommes 
fur qui la vaiiite a un empire bien plus puiffant, 



& c'eft le cas de ce philofophe. Un refus fait avec 
oftentation de la penfion du Roi d'Angleterre j 
oftentation qu'il a fouvent recherchee a I'egard 
d'autres princes, auroit pu etre feule un motif fuffi- 
fant pour determine!* fa conduite. 

Quelques autres de mes amis traitent toute cette 
affaire avec plus d'indulgence, & regardent M. 
Rouffeau comme un objet de pitie plutot que de 
colere. Us fuppofent bien aufli, que I'orgueil & 
Imgratitude font la bafe de fon caraftere ; mais en 
meme terns ils font difpofes a croire que fon efprit, 
toujours inquict & flottant, fe laiffe entrainer au 
courant de fon humeur & de fes paflions. I/abfur- 
dite de ce qu'il avance n'eft pas, felon eux, une 
preuve qu'il foit de mauvaife foi. II fe regarde 
comme le feu! etre important de l*univers, & croit 
bonnement que tout le genre humain confpire cen- 
tre lui. Son plus grand bienfaiteur, etant celui 
qui incommode le plus fon orgueil, devient le prin- 
cipal objet de fon animofite. II eft vrai qu il em- 
ploie, pour foutenir fes bizarreries, des fiftions & 
des menfonges ; mais c*eft une reffource fi com- 
mune dans ces tetes foibles qui flottent continuelle- 
ment entre la raifon & la folie, que perfonne ne 
doit s'en etonner. 

J*avoue que je penche beaucoup vers cette der- 
niere opinion, quoiqu'en meme temps je doute fort 
qu*en aucune circonftance de fa vie, M. Rouffeau 
ait joui plus enticrement qu*aujourd*hui de toute & 
raifon. Meme dans les etranges Itttres qu*il m'a 



ccrites, on retrouve des traces bien marquees de 
fbn eloquence & de fon genie. 

M. Rouffeau m'a dit fouvent qu'il compofoit Ics 
Memoires de fa vie, & qu'il y rendroit juftice a lui- 
meme, a fes amis & a fes ennemis. Comme M. 
Davenport m*a marque que depuis fa retraite a 
Wootton il avoit ete fort occupe a ccrire, j'ai lieu 
de croire qu'il acheve cet ouvrage. Rien au monde 
n'etoit plus inattendu pour moi que de paflfer ft fou« 
^nement de la claffe de fes amis a celle de fes 
ennemis ; mais cette revolution s'ctant £aite, je dois 
m'attendre a etre traite en confequence. Si fes 
Memoires paroifient apr^ ma mort, perfonne 
ne pourra juftifier ma memoire en faifant con- 
noitre la vcrite : s'ils font publics apres la mort 
de I'auteur, ma juftification perdra, par cela meme, 
une grande partie de fon authenticite. Cette re- 
flexion m'a engage a rccueillir toutes les cireon- 
ftances de cette aventure, a en faire un precis que 
je deftine a mes amis, & dont je pourrai faire dans la 
fiiite I'ufage qu'eux & moi nous jugerons convena- 
ble ; mais j'aime tellement la paix qu'il n'y a que 
la neceffite ou les plus fortes raifons qui puiffent 
me determiner a expofer cette querelle aux yeux 
du public. 

. Perdidi beneficium. Numqiiid qua confecravimus 
ferdidijfe nos dicimus ? Inter confccraia bcnejicium eft; 
€tiamji male refpondit^ bene collocatum. Non cjl ilk 
qualem fperavimm ; ftmus nos qualcs fidmus^ ei dijfi-^ 

Seneca dc Bcneficlh, Hh, vii. cap. 29. 





J AI appris par M. Hume avec la plus grande 
furprife, que M. Rouffeau m*accufe d'etre Tauteur 
d*une lettre ironique qui lui a etc addreflce dans 
les papiers publics, fous le nom du Roi de Pruffe. 
Tout le monde fait, a Paris & a Londres, que 
cette lettre eft de M. Walpole, qui mcme ne la 
defavoue pas. II convient feulement d'avoir etc 
aide, pour le ftyle, par une perfonne qu'il ne nomme 
point, & qui devroit peut-etre fe nommer. Pour 
nioi, fur qui les foup9ons du public ne font jamais 
tombt's a cet egard, je ne connois nullement M. 
Walpole : je ne crois pas mcme lui avoir jamais 
parle, ne Tayant rencontre qu'une fois dans ui\e 
maifon particuliere. Non-feulemcnt je n*ai pas la , 
plus legerepart, ni direcle ni indirede, a la lettredont 
il s*agit, mais je puis citer plus de cent perfonnes, 
amies & ennemies de M. Rouffeau, qui m*ont en- 
tendu la dcffapprouver beaucoup, par la raifon qu'ii 
ne faut point fe moqucr des malheureux, fur-tout 
quand ils ne nous ont point fait de mal. D*ailleurs, 
nion refpect pour le Roi de Prufle> & la reconnoif- 



fance que je lui dois, pouvoient, ce me femble, faire 
fuppofer a M. Roufleau, que je n'aurois pas voulu 
abiifer du nom de ce prince, meme pour one plai- 

** Patoute que je n'ai jamais etc I'eimemi de M. 
Roufieau, ni declarf ni meme fecret, comme il le 
pretend ; & je dcfie qu'on apporte la nioindre preuve 
que j'aie jamais cherchc a lui nuire en quoi que ce 
puifle ctre. Je pourrois prouver au contraire, par 
les tcmoignages les plus refpeclables, que j*ai 
cherche a Pobiiger en ce qui a dependu de moi. 

** Quant a ma pretendue correfpondence fecrete 
avec M. Hume, il eft tres-certain que nous n*avons 
commence a nous ccrire que cinq a fix mois apres 
fon depart, a Poccafion de la querelle que M, 
Roufleau lui a fufcitee, & dans laquelle il juge a 
propos de me meler fi gratuitement. 

** Je crois devoir cette declaration a moi-meme, 
il la verite, & a la fituation de M. Roufleau : je le 
plains bien fmccrement de croire fi peu a la vertu, 
& fur-tout a celle de M. Hume." 



Strahan and Prefton, 
Prinicrt-Streeiy London, 



^^^^^^K|^^ B ^^^^H 

^H lAliiilil 

I^Q^jm 3 6105 036 606 494 ^ 



^v 'tflW^Hp .^^^^I^^^^^^H 






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Stanford Unive 



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